Incoming New York Governor Kathy Hochul Lost Nephew to Opioid Overdose

New York State Governor-elect Kathy Hochul: "My nephew struggled with addiction because he listened to his doctor."

In her first briefing on August 11, New York Governor-designate Kathy Hochul stated:

"I've been the champion of policies to eradicate the specter of heroin and opioid abuse, something that has touched my family personally." Watch the briefing below.

Hochul's nephew Michael overdosed on the synthetic opioid fentanyl in 2017. After Michael sustained a hand injury, he was prescribed opioids. 

“My nephew struggled with addiction because he listened to his doctor," she said at rally in 2020 at the State Capitol in Albany. "He just followed his doctor’s orders. He struggled for years to fight back and he hit rock bottom.”

Due to cumbersome Medicaid rules and his own financial hardship, Michael was unable to receive proper treatment. 

“He went back to the streets, and it wasn’t long before they found a needle in his arm," Hochul explained. "It has to end now. We’ve lost too many lives - precious lives. It doesn’t come from that we didn’t have enough capacity to take care of him. Never again in the state of New York.”

Opioid mortality in New York decreased by 7% from 3,224 in 2017 to 2,991 in 2018. Hochul co-chaired the state's Heroin and Opioid Task Force.

As we previously reported, Hochul supported passage of the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act, which was approved by the legislature and signed into law on March 31. Hochul will succeed Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned August 9.


Become a Patron!


Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.