2015 Addiction Recovery Policy Statement
On behalf of millions of individuals and families in New York impacted by addiction, Friends of Recovery New York (FOR-NY), the statewide 501 c3 non-profit, Recovery Community Organization (RCO) is committed to educating decision makers and the general public about addiction recovery and calls for the end of discrimination that blocks access to addiction treatment, housing and recovery support.
We support the creation and expansion of local Recovery Community Organizations (RCO’s) and Recovery Community Centers (RCC’s) through the use of recovery coaches and peer advocates to provide recovery support and family services.
We call on the Governor and the NYS Legislature to take the following immediate actions to meet the urgent addiction crisis in New York State:
EXPANDED ACCESS TO ADDICTION TREATMENT THROUGH INSURANCE
· Despite some progress during last years legislative session discrimination against those with addiction illnesses continues to permeate insurance law and authorization practice(s) in New York. These practices remain especially evident in inpatient rehabilitation coverage. Guised under various, cloaked definitions of “medical necessity”, insurers repeatedly prohibit authorization for inpatient addiction treatment and in the limited instances when treatment is approved, continue to drastically limit the length of stay allowed. FOR-NY encourages the continuation of pro-active access to treatment initiatives with legislation. We maintain that the existing insurer practices, making dollar driven, not client centered decisions denies life-saving treatment that lead to preventable deaths and a cycle of short term treatment and relapse, draining our state of vital resources.
ADDICTION and RECOVERY SAFEGUARDS
- Physician Education: The medical community must receive appropriate education with respect to addiction and prescription drugs. Physicians prescribing narcotic based pain medications must be well informed on the subject matter of addiction and recovery. These pro-active measures can be seamlessly implemented into requisite training hour protocols.
- Treatment Requirement for Patients on Subxonone: We support enactment of regulations requiring concurrent treatment with the use of suboxone.
Regulation of Sober Recovery Homes:Although some improvements have been made, standardized regulatory and quality assurance approaches are needed. Individuals in early recovery must be protected and afforded a safe and supportive living environment. Regulations and supervision must be adopted in a manner that works within the parameters of the Federal Fair Housing Act.
ADDICTION and RECOVERY SAFEGUARDS (continued)
- Treatment After Overdose Reversal: We support legislation tied to the emergency use of Narcan, to reverse an opiate overdose when administered by first responders. In most instances no admission to addiction treatment occurs and there are numerous reports of a second or third overdose and in some cases even death. Active addiction, and the presence of psychological defense mechanisms, most notably denial, prevents the individual from recognizing the seriousness of their addiction and they routinely refuse to get help at the urging of their family members or others despite unequivocal evidence that their lives are in danger. Mandatory treatment and peer recovery support for those receiving Narcan must be implemented.
INVESTMENT IN RECOVERY SUPPORT SERVICES
$30 Million Investment in Recovery Support Infrastructure: FOR-NY calls for the immediate investment of resources to build a strong statewide network of local recovery support services for individuals and families:
Local Recovery Community Organizations (RCO’s): RCO’s are local volunteer organizations consisting of individuals and families in recovery, their friends and allies who are dedicated to helping individuals and families to find and sustain recovery from addiction. A significant groundswell in every region of the state finds families and individuals in or seeking recovery gathering and finding local solutions. Seed money to support and strengthen these local constituency partnerships and newly emerging RCO’s will fill a critical service gap in our effort to respond to the immediate addiction crisis.
Recovery Community Centers (RCC’s): Recovery Centerscreate a community culture that supports recovery by engaging individuals and family members in recovery as peer supports to help the newly recovered and family members to establish a strong recovery foundation in their local community. Recovery Centers are widespread in nearby states and have proven tohave great recovery and economic value. Recovery Centers serve individuals and families as a trusted community resource for all addiction and recovery related matters, assist with reintegration to society, focus on relapse prevention, host recovery support groups and connect individuals with essential recovery support services such as; housing, vocational assistance, parenting skills, addiction and mental health referrals, clothing, healthcare, legal and educational supports and other life skills training, delivered by peers whenever possible.
Peer Recovery Coaches are highly effective peers with lived experience in addiction and recovery who are trained to serve as mentors and guides. Coaches typically work with individuals and families seeking recovery to help remove barriers and assist in navigating systems and connecting to needed resources, resulting in reduced relapse and improved recovery outcomes.
Mission and Vision
WHO? “Friends of Recovery – NY is comprised of NYS residents who are in long-term recovery from addiction, their families, friends and allies. We represent all sectors of the community, all regions of the state, and the numerous and diverse paths to recovery. We actively organize and mobilize the recovery community so as to speak effectively with one voice.”
WHAT? “Our mission is to demonstrate the power and proof of recovery from addictions and its value to individuals, families and communities throughout NYS and the nation. We actively seek to advance public policies and practices that promote and support recovery.”
WHY? “We envision a world in which recovery from addiction is both a commonplace and a celebrated reality, a world in which the entire spectrum of effective prevention, treatment and recovery support services are available and accessible to all who might benefit from them.
- Recovery is possible for everyone
- Everyone achieves recovery in his or her own way
- Adequate resources and support are necessary for sustained recovery
- Recovery is about reclaiming a meaningful life and role in society
FOR-NY Stands For:
- Addressing addiction as a public health issue
- Responding to illicit drug use as a health issue rather than a crime
- Eliminating barriers to getting help
- Developing non-punitive, non-judgmental recovery service models
- Creating a system that engages and supports people to reclaim a meaningful life
- Including recovering individuals and our families at all levels of budget and policy development in the system