Funding Will be Used to Promote Prevention, Increase Education and Awareness, and to Purchase and Distribute Naloxone to Help Save Lives
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the receipt of grant of $4.25 million over a five-year period from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help prevent prescription drug and opioid overdose-related deaths and adverse events. The grant will fund training for first responders, overdose prevention and other community-based service providers and partners, as well as individuals and families.
The announcement of this award coincides with the first ever NYS Opioid Overdose Awareness Day. This observance, organized by the NYS Department of Health, honors people who have died of overdoses and celebrates families and frontline workers who are dedicated to saving lives.
“The opioid epidemic is personal for me, having lost a family member to an overdose,” Governor Hochul said. “In New York, we are expanding our efforts to combat the crisis by increasing education and awareness and promoting prevention and treatment services. On New York State’s first Opioid Overdose Awareness Day, I encourage those struggling with substance abuse to not be discouraged to reach out for help and support. We will continue to work together to end this crisis and help save lives.”
The NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports will focus on expanding the knowledge of overdose prevention strategies to “Key Community Sectors” that work with pregnant and postpartum persons and their families, and individuals and families impacted by intimate partner violence. The agency will also work closely with the Native American/Indigenous community and with the LGBT+ community.
Providers identified will be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to provide overdose prevention trainings to individuals and families and other community-based services providers, and to train others to become overdose prevention providers. Specific providers receiving funding will be identified at a later date.
OASAS will also partner with the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to provide training and naloxone kits to their frontline staff in programs such as OCFS managed domestic violence shelters, the Healthy Families New York home visiting program, and the Maternal and Infant Community Health Collaboratives. Additionally, these funds will be used to distribute overdose prevention kits and naloxone to individuals and families receiving training either from OASAS or one of the selected community-based partners.
OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, “We know that fatal overdoses increased last year during the pandemic and we recognize the tremendous stress that people continue to experience. We are very pleased that we were awarded this grant because it will bring resources to the state and add to our efforts to prevent overdoses. Together with our partner agencies, we are developing innovative approaches to reaching vulnerable populations that we may not be able to reach otherwise.”
State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “The Department of Health and OASAS have always worked together to combat the devastation of addiction and help prevent overdoses. With this funding, we can continue our commitment to keeping families and loved ones from experiencing loss, while empowering all New Yorkers with the tools necessary to help others and themselves live healthy lives.”
A total of 750 individuals will be trained in overdose prevention in the first year of the funding. In year two, this number will increase to 3,000, and thereafter 4,000 people will be trained per year for a total of 15,750 individuals trained by the end of the fifth year.
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 HOPE line at 1-877-8-HOPENY, 1-877-846-7369, or by texting HOPENY, Short Code 467369.