Grants Will Allow Providers to Expand Harm Reduction and Treatment Services in High-Need Areas
Works to Remove Barriers for Underserved Populations to Access Care
Initiative Funded Through New York State's Opioid Settlement Fund's Latest Round of Grants
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the availability of $3.2 million to expand outreach and engagement services in high-need areas of New York State. Administered by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the grants through the Opioid Settlement Fund will expand harm-reduction and other healthcare services to engage New Yorkers unable to access care due to a variety of factors.
"My administration remains committed to using every tool at our disposal to help struggling individuals receive the supportive services they need,” Governor Hochul said. "By investing in innovative outpatient treatment programs and services in underserved locations, we are ensuring that we deliver equitable access to live-saving treatment for those who need it most."
New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said, "Meeting people where they are and providing individualized, person-centered care is an important aspect of our approach to care for addiction in New York State. Thanks to the settlement funding coming to the state, we will be able to better address barriers that keep some people from seeking care and meet them where they are to support their health and well-being."
New York State Department of Health Acting Commissioner James McDonald said, "At Governor Hochul's direction, we are constantly extending and improving our services and supports to help those who have been affected by the addiction and overdose crisis. I commend the Governor for her support of these engagement and outreach initiatives, which enable us to broaden the range of addiction treatment service in New York State."
New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, "Governor Hochul is working to eliminate healthcare inequities and increase access to care for all New Yorkers. The funding opportunities announced today by OASAS will help people in underserved, high-needs areas get the treatment they need, but would otherwise have difficulty obtaining. These are important initiatives that will save lives and help people get the services they need to recover from addiction."
Funding awarded through this initiative will allow existing outpatient substance use disorder providers, integrated outpatient services licensed providers, and certified community behavioral health service providers to expand harm reduction and treatment services. These services include increasing access to medication for addiction treatment, in addition to increasing the availability of fentanyl test strips. They also include expanding overdose education and prevention training with naloxone distribution, peer services, and substance use disorder assessments and treatment.
Providers can apply for up to $400,000 to support both the expanded services and to purchase vehicles for outreach efforts, according to the request for applications. The funding will allow up to eight awards in designated high-needs areas, including:
- Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties
- Allegany and Steuben counties
- Southern Delaware and Ulster counties
- Otsego and Northern Delaware counties
- St. Lawrence County
- Franklin and Clinton counties
- Hamilton and Herkimer counties
- Essex and Warren counties
The funding expands a program that has been in place in New York State since 2017. There are 18 providers now receiving federal funding to provide similar services in their communities, bringing critical, lifesaving services to underserved areas, and connecting thousands of people to care.
New York State will receive more than $2 billion through various settlement agreements with opioid manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies that were secured by Attorney General Letitia James. A portion of the funding from these settlements will go directly to municipalities, with the remainder deposited into a dedicated fund to support prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery efforts to address the ongoing opioid epidemic.
The same legislation that established the dedicated fund also created the Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board, which is tasked with making recommendations on how settlement dollars should be allocated to best serve those in need. Board members issued their first recommendations on November 1, identifying the expansion of harm reduction services and treatment as top priorities.
New York continues to grapple with opioid-related deaths, with fentanyl now involved in most overdose deaths statewide, according to a report on 2021 data released by the state Department of Health. Other key findings include:
- 4,766 overdose deaths involving opioids, a 14 percent increase over the prior year.
- 10,430 outpatient emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses, a 12.6 percent increase over the prior year.
- 19,139 instances of naloxone being administered by Emergency Medical Services, an 11.8 percent increase over the prior year.
New York State has instituted an aggressive, multi-pronged approach to address the overdose epidemic, and created a nation-leading continuum of addiction care with full prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services. The state has worked to expand access to traditional services, including crisis services, inpatient, outpatient, and residential treatment programs, as well as medication to treat addiction, mobile treatment, and transportation services.
Governor Hochul was a member of the New York State Heroin and Opioid Task Force, which recommended new, non-traditional services, including recovery centers, youth clubhouses, expanded peer services, and open access centers to provide immediate assessments and referrals to care in 2016. These services have since been established in numerous communities around the state and have helped people in need access care closer to where they live.
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) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).
Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, residential, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website. If you or a loved one have experienced insurance obstacles related to treatment or need help filing an appeal for a denied claim, contact the CHAMP helpline by phone at 888-614-5400 or email at [email protected].