Dianne Henk, 518-457-8299
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Monday, March 29, 2010

OASAS Awards Funding To Build and Mobilize NY Recovery Efforts

Friends of Recovery-NY Named Recovery Community Organizer

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo today awarded $60,000 in funding to build and mobilize grassroots organizations statewide that support recovery from alcohol, drugs and problem gambling.

Friends of Recovery-NY (FOR-NY), a statewide coalition of people in recovery from addiction, their families and allies, will deliver a broad range of services, including establishing a communications network with recovery communities, educating professionals, policy makers and the general public about recovery-related matters and supporting research and study to build a better understanding of recovery. FOR-NY, which has a 13-member board that represents all geographic areas of New York, was selected through a competitive Request for Proposals process.

Governor David A. Paterson said, “This award underscores New York’s commitment to long-term recovery from drugs, alcohol and problem gambling. As FOR-NY mobilizes the recovery communities across the state, we will continue to improve lives and see a healthier and safer New York.”

“The Recovery Movement in New York is growing significantly and FOR-NY has demonstrated the qualifications, strength and ability to continue to foster this critically important work,” said Commissioner Carpenter-Palumbo. “There are thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers now in recovery from drugs, alcohol or gambling who will benefit from leadership that FOR-NY brings.”

“This funding will afford us the opportunity to strengthen the recovery advocacy grassroots movement,” said FOR-NY President Laura Elliott-Engel, MA, CASAC-G, LMHC, who is also Executive Director of the Council on Addiction Recovery Services, Inc. (CAReS). “Recovery is real. It’s achievable and for far too long, people have stayed hidden. Any issues that affect individuals achieving sustained recovery are the issues we need and want to address.”

Living in recovery is more than just abstinence from alcohol, drug use or problem gambling, but is a lifestyle of health and wellness that includes stable housing, education and employment, as individuals in recovery are citizens who contribute to their families and communities.

Within the scope of the award, which can be renewed for up to five years, FOR-NY will: conduct outreach and recruitment to increase the number of people involved in recovery activities; disseminate information to the public; conduct professional trainings; organize and mobilize community groups across the state; and gather information through focus groups, public forums and studies.

“With this award, FOR-NY can coordinate the recovery-oriented work that is under way in New York and throughout the country and help give recovery services the attention they deserve,” said Commissioner Carpenter-Palumbo.

OASAS oversees one of the nation’s largest addiction services systems dedicated to Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, with more than 1,550 programs serving over 110,000 New Yorkers on any given day.

Through efforts such as the Your Story Matters campaign at, the agency hopes to foster a movement of recovery, one that sheds the stigma and promotes a life of health and wellness.

Addiction is a chronic disease and New Yorkers need to know that help and hope is available. Individuals can find help by calling the toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day a week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY. For more information, please visit