Gov. Cuomo Fulfills Promise To Fund Addiction Treatment Centers

By Dorri Olds 07/26/16

The governor recently awarded $10.5 million in funding to six new recovery centers across New York state. 

Gov. Cuomo Fulfills Promise To Fund Addiction Treatment Centers

Pivot, an addiction counseling provider in Watertown, New York, received $1.75 million to fund a new recovery center for the community.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the city of Albany are making good on the promise to fight New York’s heroin and opioid addiction crisis. On June 22, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a package of bills into law that called for 270 new treatment beds statewide, among other changes. On June 29, the governor announced $10.5 million in funding to be provided to six new recovery centers to help addicts and their families statewide.

On Saturday, July 23, the Watertown Daily Times announced that Pivot (also known as the Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County) was one of six locations chosen to receive $1.75 million in order to create new Recovery Community and Outreach Centers across New York state. The money will be awarded over a period of five years to all six locations. The additional five chosen are Long Island, Staten Island, Newburgh, Saratoga Springs and Buffalo.

According to Jefferson County Medical Examiner records, there were three overdose deaths in 2000. In 2011, the number jumped to 18. From January to July of this year, there have already been 10 fatal overdoses in the county. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Watertown has accounted for most of the overdoses recorded in Jefferson County.

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (NYS OASAS) Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez visited Watertown on Friday, July 22 to congratulate Pivot. 

“Recovery from the disease of addiction is possible with community-based supports and a substance-free environment where peers can assist each other in their recovery journey,” said González-Sánchez. “Pivot will be able to use this funding to continue their good work and help more upstate New Yorkers maintain a healthy lifestyle, right in Jefferson County.”

Also in attendance on Friday was Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell who said, “Unfortunately in the past several weeks we have seen in our area the death of people who have been in recovery for some time. Tragically they didn’t find all the support they needed to stay clean and they fell back into drug use.”

Russell added, “It’s cruel to put all of our energies into detox and treatment if we fall down in the most important part—long-term sobriety and the support needed by those in recovery. We know the likelihood of death is much higher for people who have been clean for a long time and then start using again. It has a chilling effect on efforts to get more users in treatment when people who have been so doing well start using again and die.”

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Dorri Olds is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day and several book anthologies. Find Dorri on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.