FTC RecordNews


By Chrissie Pastrana                                    

With the opioid addiction crisis continuing to take a toll on New York State, Governor Kathy Hochul announced an initiative to aid New Yorkers in a March 8th press conference. $3.75 million will be used from the New York State Opioid Settlement Fund to help those vulnerable communities and individuals who are in need. According to Governor Hochul, “We are taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to address the opioid crisis across New York State, including in underserved areas that are lacking addiction services and supports. The street outreach services funded through these grants will help marginalized populations access the life-saving care they need to break the vicious cycle of addiction.” 

Additionally, the funding provides twelve awards of up to $250,000 to cover expenses for outreach street services. Furthermore, there will be another ten awards of $75,000 for New York City to purchase vehicles to reach additional hard-to-reach populations. 

The outreach program will provide life-saving treatments and expand education to those who are suffering from addiction. The opioid epidemic has increased statewide since the last New York State Department of Health released its County Opioid Quarterly report. 

According to the January 2023 Department of Health report:

  • 14% increase in overdose deaths since 2021.
  • 12.6% increase in outpatient Emergency Department visits due to opioid overdoses. 
  • 30.2% increase in outpatient Emergency Department visits due to opioid overdoses other than heroin. including illicitly produced opioids such as fentanyl.
  • 11.8% increase in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) naloxone (Narcan) administration encounters in 2021.

With these statistics, the Department of Health supports harm reduction initiatives such as New York MATTERS. This referral system connects people battling an addiction with local treatment and harm reduction facilities. Additionally, these Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs also provide training to those in suffering communities to recognize an overdose, administer Narcan to people, and alert authorities about the overdose. 

Before becoming governor, Hochul was a key person in the New York State Heroin and Opioid Task Force, which helped expand support and awareness about the Opioid Crisis in New York State. New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham supports Governor Hochul’s initiative. “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.” 

Continuing this initiative will permit current outpatient substance abuse disorder providers to expand on treatment plans through increased fentanyl test strip testing, drug overdose education, and access to medications that help battle addiction.

If you or a loved one is battling opioid addiction, contact SAMHSA National Hotline at 1-800-662-4357.   

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