Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

We’ve moved!

June 10, 2010 Leave a comment

You can now find our bigger, better blog, “Of Substance and Justice,” on the Legal Action Center Web site.


Need-to-Know News: May 17-21, 2010

May 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Updates from Us

DVD Screening, 5-18-10
  • LAC’s video collaboration with the Organization for Visual Progression, “Your Rights, Your Future: Preparing for Reentry,” had a crowd-rousing premier at the Discharge Planning Collaboration’s bi-annual retreat, left, held May 19  in Manhattan.
  • We’ve had an Internet revolution!
    1. You can now find us on Facebook and Twitter; and don’t forget about our RSS feed.)
    2. We’ve overhauled our homepage to help you find what you’re looking for.
    3. We’ve expanded and renamed our blog: “Of Substance and Justice,” will cover all our issues, in New York and nationally.
    4. We’ve started this newsletter, “Need-to-Know News,” to keep you in the loop. Note: If you’re getting this as an e-mail from our blog, please sign up again here, so you continue to receive our updates.

Read more…

LAC Applauds National Drug Strategy, Urges Sufficient Funding

May 12, 2010 1 comment

NEW YORK, May 12, 2010 – The Legal Action Center commends President Obama, Director Kerlikowske and the Office of National Drug Control Policy on its new strategy released yesterday. With an admirable goal of reducing illicit drug use by 15 percent in five years, the strategy wisely focuses on preventing and treating addiction and promoting recovery after decades of an ineffectual “war on drugs.”

“President Obama’s first national drug strategy charts a new and most welcome course that for the first time in decades places major emphasis on preventing and treating drug and alcohol problems and helping people with substance use disorders recover,” said Paul N. Samuels, director and president of LAC.

Read more…

Healthcare Bill Includes Landmark Expansion of Addiction and Mental Illness Coverage

March 22, 2010 2 comments

 In a major victory, ground-breaking expansion of addiction and mental health coverage of prevention, treatment and recovery is a part of the final healthcare reform bill passed on Sunday. The bill:

  • Includes substance use disorder and mental health (SUD/MH) services as required  benefits in the basic benefit package for individual and small business health plans.
  • Requires that all plans in the health insurance exchange comply with the Wellstone/Domenici Parity Act in providing SUD/MH benefits in the same way as all other covered medical and surgical benefits. 
  • Expands Medicaid eligibility for all Americans up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level and require newly eligible parents and childless adults receive coverage that includes SUD/MH services provided at parity.
  • Includes SUD and MH prevention strategies and efforts in the bill’s chronic disease initiatives.
  • Includes the capacity of the mental and behavioral health workforce as high-priority topics in the bill’s National Workforce Strategy section.
  • Includes insurance reforms and consumer protections critical for individuals seeking or in recovery, including prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, charging higher premiums based on health status, and placing annual or lifetime caps on insurance coverage. 

These reforms represent significant progress as we continue to advocate for the expansion and improvement of our nation’s health responses to alcohol and drug addiction, including prevention, treatment, recovery, and research.

In the coming days, LAC will conduct and issue a more in-depth analysis of the healthcare reform bill and its ramifications. Please stay tuned.

Legislative Update on Expanded Syringe Access Bill (S.5620)

March 12, 2010 Leave a comment
For the last few weeks, LAC and our partners in the field have been updating you about the progress of a bill in the New York Senate that would prevent new HIV and Hepatitis C infections by stopping police harassment of program participants.
Your participation enabled us to move the bill out of the Senate Codes Committee and into the full Senate for a vote. On the day of the vote, advocates of the legislation generated some many calls that Senator John Bonacic (one of the key senators we asked you to call) actually when and met with sponsor Tom Duane about the bill.
Ultimately, the bill was pulled due to a lack of votes, however, we will continue to monitor it and keep you updated. We strongly support this legislation and will fight for its passage in the Senate in the coming months.  Thank you for your support.

Bad News Overshadows National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

New data was released by the Division of STD Prevention during the 2010 National STD Prevention Conference in Atlanta, GA.

CDC reported the following:

  • Blacks represent 12 percent of the U.S. population, yet account for almost half of all reported Chlamydia and syphilis cases, more than 70 percent of all reported gonorrhea cases, and almost half of new HIV infections
  • New CDC data show that one in five women (21 percent) is infected with herpes (HSV-2), as are more than one-third of blacks overall (39.2 percent) and almost half of Black women (48 percent)
  • Despite high prevalence, vast majority of Americans with  HSV-2 (over 80%) – don’t know they’re infected because most have no or only minimal symptoms
  • When symptoms do occur, typically appear as painful blisters or ulcers/sores on genitals or anus; but atypical symptoms are common, such as fissures (breaks in skin) or areas of redness/burning
  • People w/ HSV-2 can transmit the infection even if they have no visible sores – though condoms can reduce risk
  • Because HSV can be transmitted even when no lesions are present, routine use of condoms consistently/ correctly during all sex acts with partners of unknown infection status is important
  • Persons living with HSV should disclose their status – research shows disclosure to partners can reduce transmission rate
  • Persons living with HSV should abstain during outbreaks – though transmission can occur when no symptoms, it is important that HSV-infected individuals abstain from sex with uninfected partners when lesions or other symptoms present because of likely increased risk of transmission

It’s important to note that HSV-2 increases the risk of acquiring HIV by at least 2-fold and can make HIV-infected individuals more infectious and may be a contributing factor to disparities in HIV rates among African Americans

To download the complete overview, please click here.

Paterson To Hold NYS Budget Town Hall Meeting in Brooklyn on 3/8/10

March 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Office of Governor David A. Paterson

The Office of
Governor David A. Paterson

Invites you to a
NYS Budget Town Hall Meeting
with Governor Paterson

Monday, March 8, 2010

Doors Open at 10:00 AM

Ceremonial Courtroom, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street

If you wish to attend, please RSVP to

We look forward to seeing you.

This a message from the New York State Executive Chamber, State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224.

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