NY taking steps to help fight addiction

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State is taking new strides in helping people struggling with addiction.

“They decide they want to go into treatment; it’s that moment that we want to help them along,” Sen. George Amedore said.

Amedore is the chairman of the state’s alcoholism and drug abuse committee. He explained what steps the state is taking to make sure getting help for addiction is easier.

“It’s time that we bring these much needed services 24 hours/seven days a week,” he said.

The Cuomo administration announced two ways it hopes to expand addiction treatment and recovery services in New York. The first would be creating more 24/7 open access centers.

“Create a structure where people can go 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the access staff can help them get into treatment,” Hope House Exec. Dir. Kevin Connally said.

The state is requesting proposals for organizations interested in running one of the open access centers to help bridge the gap in getting more people from access centers to recovery facilities such as Hope House.

“We have to do whatever we can to make it easier for people to get into treatment as quick as possible,” Connally said.

The second approach the state is taking is working with the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services to develop two recovery high school pilot programs. The recover high schools would be exclusively for students who have struggled with addiction, been through treatment, and are working to stay clean.

“So that we can teach our students in the classroom about substance abuse…about pain management,” Amedore said.

“So it’s going to give kids that leave an adolescent program a stronger opportunity to keep going down the path into recovery,” Connally said.

Both actions are in the beginning stages.