ALBANY — Brooklyn State Sen. Martin Golden confronted accusations of racism Thursday after he advised an area web site that opioids have been “not a ghetto drug.”
In feedback printed this week by the Brooklyn Every day Eagle, Golden, a Republican and former metropolis cop, expressed alarm concerning the rising charges of opioid habit in his district.
“It’s not a ghetto drug. It’s taking place to docs’ youngsters,” Golden advised the web site.
Golden’s feedback have been slammed by Democrats and anti-addiction advocates.
“Let me be clear: it’s racist, it’s insensitive and it’s ignorant,” mentioned Bronx State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a Democrat.
“It appears to recommend it’s solely an issue when it’s docs’ youngsters,” Rivera mentioned. “That’s a bell whistle – he’s speaking about white people.”
Rivera added that “the opioid disaster is an actual disaster that impacts all communities.”
Democratic Senate candidate Ross Barkan, who’s looking for Golden’s seat, mentioned Golden’s language was “racist and shameful” and referred to as on him to apologize.
Faces of opioid habit within the Bronx
Dionna King, coverage supervisor for the Drug Coverage Alliance, mentioned Golden’s feedback recommend that just some communities are worthy of care and empathy.
“This was a racist assertion made by an elected official liable for passing legal guidelines that affect all of New York,” King mentioned. “This type of pondering will not be solely morally reprehensible, however detrimental to individuals of colour in his district and New York State.”
John Quaglione, a spokesman for Golden, pushed again in opposition to the criticism.
“It is incorrect to attenuate Senator Marty Golden’s long-standing dedication to combating the struggle on medicine each as a police officer and an elected official,” Quaglione mentioned in an announcement. “All through his profession, Marty Golden has delivered for households all through New York Metropolis and State who’re confronted with the horror of habit.”
Quaglione famous that Golden served on the Senate’s Job Power on Heroin and Opioid Habit and has pushed for such measures because the I-STOP prescription drug monitoring program and enhanced insurance coverage protection for habit therapy.
“It’s important that the true dialog be centered on breaking the cycle of dependency, saving lives and serving to New Yorkers transition from habit to restoration,” mentioned Quaglione.