We recently learned that $42 million in additional funding was added to State budget and earmarked for OASAS on April 9th. That is a step forward for people who will access prevention, treatment and recovery services.

The additional funding adds $30 million for heroin and opioid addiction services and $10 million for capital projects, including housing.
There is also $2 million in funding for substance abuse prevention and intervention specialists in New York City administered by the Department of Education. We thank the legislature for this additional funding and support of our recovery allies at Save the Michaels of the World, the Thomas’ Hope Foundation, and Camelot of Staten Island.

We thank everyone in the recovery community who joined us in advocating for additional funding to support the community-based recovery supports services that are so desperately needed. These include the hundreds of friends who traveled from across the state to participate in FOR-NY’s Stand Up for Recovery Day on February 28th, and everyone who contacted their legislators to encourage support of increased funding. We also thank FOR-NY’s Board for their tireless efforts.

We thank Governor Cuomo, and the Senate and Assembly for their investment in addiction services and increase in the OASAS budget. We thank Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Catherine Young, Senate Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee Chair George Amedore, along with Senator Fred Akshar, Senator Chris Jacobs, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assembly Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman D. Farrell, and Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee Chair Linda Rosenthal.

This funding is a major improvement, but much more is needed to establish the community-based recovery support services needed and necessary in every county across New York. Over the past year, overdose deaths continued to climb, doubling in some areas of the state. We remain steadfast in our commitment to work on behalf of the Recovery community to ensure there’s a Recovery Community Organization (RCO), Recovery Community Outreach Center (RCOC), Recovery Coaches and Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPAs) and Family Support Navigators (FSN) in every New York County.

Our community knows that the solution of recovery is made possible when the right investments are made in prevention, treatment and recovery. In recent years, we have advocated a cultural shift in how the public thinks about addiction. While there are still those who view addiction as a moral failing, the tide is changing. A respect for all pathways to recovery, including harm reduction, abstinence, and medication-assisted recovery is becoming integrated into the public health sector. We will continue our efforts to ensure that everyone who needs treatment receives it immediately, and that recovery support services are available throughout the state, so that anyone completing treatment can connect with peers and services that will enable them to sustain their recovery.

Recently, we’ve received feedback from you on the RCO Toolkit and Family-to-Family Resource Guides that is in the process of going to press. Plans are underway for new training opportunities, more screenings of the film Generation Found, and Recovery Talks: Community Listening Forums, and our second statewide recovery conference, co-sponsored with the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers (ASAP), to be held at the Capital Center in Albany, New York on October 1-2, 2017. We’ll will provide details once plans are finalized.

We hope you’ve enjoyed and found useful this issue of Recovery Talk. If you’re interested in writing or reading about one of the many pathways to Recovery or a Recovery-focused topic we haven’t covered, or willing to share your own recovery story with our readers, please contact FOR-NY’s Director of Communications, Susan Murphy at [email protected]. We welcome your ideas.

With gratitude for all that you do,

Stephanie Campbell