August 25, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of New Clubhouse For Teens and Young Adults Battling Addiction in the Mohawk Valley

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of New...

First-of-Its-Kind Treatment Facility Promotes Wellness and Peer-Support For Young Adults in Recovery

Advances Governor’s Comprehensive Approach to Combating Addiction and Substance Abuse Disorder


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of Creative Connections Clubhouse, a first-of-its-kind recovery center for teens and young adults in Montgomery County. The clubhouse, located in Amsterdam, provides a safe, welcoming space for teens and young adults who are in recovery or are at risk for substance use disorders to develop social skills that promote long-term health, wellness, recovery and a drug-free lifestyle. In January, as part of his multi-pronged approach to combating addiction, Governor Cuomo awarded HFM Prevention, a Mohawk Valley substance use prevention provider, a $250,000 annual grant to support the clubhouse’s long- term viability, recovery and prevention services.

“New York is leading the fight against addiction by providing critical life-saving resources to those battling substance abuse,” Governor Cuomo said. “Young people struggling with addiction often don’t know where to turn for help, but this new clubhouse will provide more youth in the Mohawk Valley with the relief and long-term support they need while on the path to recovery.”

The clubhouse – one of seven in regions across the state – provides a community-based, non-clinical setting that promotes prevention, peer-driven supports and recovery services. HFM Prevention Council will deliver a variety of services and activities, including homework help and tutoring, college and job preparation, community service opportunities, sports and fitness activities, group entertainment activities, and peer mentoring. Youth and family advisory board members at each clubhouse will help shape activities and programming.

Representative Paul Tonko said, “Addiction is something that touches all of our lives at some point, whether personally or through family and friends, and it's time to rethink our approach to providing assistance to those struggling through some of the most challenging times imaginable. Creative Connections represents a new way to help those most in need and is another program in the long line of innovative thinking from OASAS. I thank our local leaders that made this a reality, and I look forward to continuing my work in Congress as the Vice Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus to ensure we have the tools to boost the success of those battling substance abuse.”

Senator George Amedore, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, said, “A critical piece of addressing the heroin epidemic and addiction issues that plague our communities is providing strong support services for those who have struggled to overcome addiction. Creative Connections Clubhouse will be an important resource for the City of Amsterdam, and the entire Mohawk Valley, to keep our young people on the road to recovery. I want to thank OASAS for their continued partnership and support to make sure we have the proper treatment and recovery options available in our communities.”

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, “For too long, families across New York State and the entire nation have been torn apart by addiction and substance abuse, and our families in Upstate New York have not been immune. It’s heartbreaking to see our families lose loved ones to addiction, and we must do everything possible to protect our children from this epidemic. The opening of the Creative Connections Clubhouse in Amsterdam marks an important step forward in this fight by providing our youth with a safe place to develop social skills that promote long-term health, wellness, recovery and a drug-free lifestyle."

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, “Support must be there for adolescents and young adults in order to successfully maintain their recovery. This clubhouse offers young New Yorkers a community-based environment that supports sobriety and gives our young people a place to engage with peers away from the influences that may have contributed to their substance use.”

Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said, “The opening of the Creative Connections Clubhouse is a great step forward in providing our youth with a facility that features a secure atmosphere which promotes health and wellness. I want to thank the Governor for recognizing a need to provide our children with a safe environment to receive these critical services and allocating annual funding for one of seven community-based clubhouses being created across the state. I also would like to thank HFM Prevention Council Executive Director Ann Rhodes for locating this facility in the east end of Amsterdam and wish newly named director T.J. Czeski good luck in operating this innovative model for providing addiction services.”

Amsterdam Mayor Michael J. Villa said, “The Clubhouse coming to Amsterdam gives us another tool in the fight against substance abuse. Our most vulnerable youth and young adults will now have a safe place, one that is non-clinical, and provides peer-driven support that they can relate to the problems and peer pressure they face. Thank you to all the staff that have worked so very hard in transforming this center and to Governor Cuomo and OASAS for awarding the funding to the HFM Prevention Council for the start-up of this program.”

The new facility is the latest initiative to advance the Governor’s multi-pronged approach to fighting the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic, which includes the implementation of changes to insurance laws and regulations to ensure broader coverage of substance use disorder treatment, increasing access to treatment, adding medication-assisted treatment capacity in regions across the state, expanding opioid overdose medication trainings, and broadening public awareness efforts about addiction.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the State’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369). For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the state’sTalk2Prevent website.

Visit www.combatheroin.ny.govfor more information on addressing heroin and prescription opioid abuse, including a Kitchen Table Tool Kit to help start the conversation about the warning signs of addiction and where to get help. Addiction treatment providers can be located on the NYS OASAS Find Help webpageor on theNYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard.

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office