Recovery Warriors from around the state accomplished amazing things in preparing for Stand Up For Recovery Day. We showed up prepared and ready to educate law makers and the public about what our needs are as a recovery community. Thank you for bringing all of your faces and voices to be represented in the Capitol. We had the most people at this event that we have ever had in FOR-NY’s history.
All of the face to face time with legislators is very powerful. We met with legislators at a critical time when the budget is being discussed.
While we are pleased that the Senate budget allocates more money for Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, we need a mechanism like the opioid stewardship fee to be included and passed in the budget to differentiate our movement and our funding needs from other pressing issues in need of funding. Indeed, we ARE different, as we are tackling the Opioid Public Health Emergency plaguing New York State. Additionally, we hope to see that there are no further measures adopted that would further criminalize our population, as such measures would push more people into the shadows and make them less likely to seek out recovery support services.
For every second delayed getting desperately needed resources into our communities, human lives are being lost.
Many of our members are thanking their local Assembly Members for including an increased stewardship fee in their budget and encouraging their local Senators of the importance of establishing a vehicle for a permanent, prevention, treatment and recovery funding stream.
When we speak with our legislators, we must continue to educate them that addiction is a public health issue, not a criminal justice issue. Further measures aimed at criminalizing the addicted population will move us backwards towards failed drug policies of yesteryear. We look to our legislators to provide true leadership in leveraging a significant increase in Substance Use Disorder funds, especially for much needed new prevention, workforce development and recovery services which have been catastrophically underfunded.
We look forward to hearing about your phone calls, emails, petitions, and face-to-face with your local legislators. The Budget is due April 1.
The time to act is now. Our voices matter!
Recovery Advocates from all over the state have been asking what we can do to make sure Parity is enforced in New York. At our last Community Based Recovery Supports Meeting, we were joined by Karla Lopez, Chief Counsel of Legal Action Center, NYC who presented a stimulating discussion on parity and recourse if one feels a parity violation is taking place. One resource that has been particularly helpful is contacting the NYS Attorney General if you feel a parity violation has taken place. Visit Legal Action Center’s website to obtain Parity and Health Care Access Resources.
Federal Omnibus Bill
The omnibus bill adds $3.3 billion to address the opioid and mental health crisis in fiscal year 2018, with a focus on public health efforts. Here are some of the big programs:
$1.4 billion will go to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, including $1 billion for a new State Opioid Response Grant program and a $160 million increase in the Mental Health Block Grant
$500 million for the National Institutes of Health for more opioid addiction research
$350 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for opioid overdose prevention, surveillance, and improving state prescription drug monitoring programs
$415 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration to, among other efforts, improve access to addiction treatment in rural and other underserved areas
$100 million to the Administration for Children and Families to help children whose parents misuse drugs
An additional $299.5 million to the Department of Justice’s anti-opioid grant funding
An additional $500 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs for mental health programs
An additional $94 million to Food and Drug Administration efforts to inspect mail for illicit drugs
All of this is on top of the $500 million in fiscal year 2018 approved in the 21st Century Cures Act to combat the opioid epidemic.
*FOR-NY will keep you up to date as grants become available. This spring we will also be offering a webinar on grant making to help you through the grant making process.*
Federal Legislation to Look Out For:
From Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery Press Release March 26, 2018:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) introduced on Thursday two pieces of bipartisan legislation that together will help improve addiction recovery efforts and prevent opioid overdoses. The Recovery COACH Act would help expand access to recovery coaches for Americans who are struggling with addiction and embarking on the road to recovery. The Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Departments Act would provide hospital emergency departments with guidance and funding to treat overdose patients and help put them on the path to recovery.
Murphy introduced these bills after hearing directly from first responders and families in Connecticut about the effectiveness of using recovery coaches to help folks struggling with addiction.