The New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services announced funding last week to complete fourteen new alcohol and drug treatment centers to help combat the addiction epidemic. The state is dedicating $5.1 million in funding to the effort across the state. They also announced additional funding for two recovery centers.

One of the centers that awarded grant funds was Second Chance Opportunities, an Albany nonprofit that helps individuals leaving addiction treatment to find stable housing and employment. They now will be adding addiction treatment to their services. The Genesee Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. (GCASA) will receive $260,000 to start a new recovery center as well. The Prevention Council of Saratoga County was awarded $80,000 to expand services at its recovery community center. They, too, will be offering addiction treatment.

The recovery centers offer crisis services, inpatient and outpatient drug treatment as well as other services such as referrals for detox. The expansion almost doubles the amount of drug treatment facilities in the state, up from 13 to 25, a response that is much needed as opioid addiction has become a public health problem across the United States. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 70,000 Americans died from opiate overdoses.

According to a recent New York Times article, prescription opioid prescriptions are falling, which means fewer people are introduced to the drug via doctors. At the same time, unfortunately, death rates from overdoses are rising. The rise in fentanyl use is causing overdose deaths more rapidly, but as with other prescriptions, the public health response is lacking.

“We are committed to investing in recovery centers across the state to help individuals and families struggling with addiction,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the New York State Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force. “This funding will establish 14 new recovery community centers and expand services at two existing centers across the state. We want to ensure people have access to the resources and services they need to lead healthy and safe lives and continue our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.”