The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) today announced the award of $208,554 to Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services for a new mobile addiction treatment van. The funding is being administered by OASAS and was awarded to New York State through the federal State Opioid Response grant. The “Hope Rides Here” mobile treatment unit is a renovated 144-square foot box truck which contains an onboard exam table, medical refrigeration, workstation, restroom, and waiting area.
“During this extremely challenging and unprecedented time with the pandemic, many individuals and families on Long Island are experiencing increased stress and anxiety, and some are struggling with addiction,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, co-chair of the New York State Heroin and Opioid Task Force. “It's more important than ever to make sure that lifesaving resources and services are available to anyone struggling with addiction on Long Island. This funding to expand mobile addiction treatment will further boost prevention and recovery care, and reinforces New York’s commitment to ending the opioid epidemic once and for all.”
“Mobile treatment services have become an important aspect of the continuum of addiction care here in New York State over the past several years,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “This new mobile treatment unit will help further expand our treatment capacity here on Long Island, and reach more people with the critical help that they need to support their recovery.”
The vehicle will be staffed by CN Guidance and Counseling Services workers to provide clinical assessment and treatment, including telehealth capability to medication prescribers, as well as outreach and education to communities affected by the addiction epidemic. The new treatment vehicle joins a large RV operated by CN Guidance which provides similar services, and two minivans used to transport people to treatment and recovery programs.
This new mobile unit is part of the ongoing work by OASAS to expand the availability and access to addiction treatment services in underserved regions of the state. Over the past several years, New York has greatly expanded its mobile treatment capability. In 2017, the State established the Centers of Treatment Innovation (COTIs) to serve high-need counties throughout the state. The COTIs are focused on establishing connections with people affected by addiction, who have not been connected to care previously or have been unable to sustain their recovery through traditional treatment approaches. COTI services, including mobile treatment, have helped engage more than 13,000 New Yorkers in treatment through non-traditional means, and has helped providers expand their outreach in previously underserved areas.
Senator Kevin Thomas said, "As we continue our efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard public health, we must be mindful that addiction remains an ongoing public health crisis. This impactful investment in addiction treatment services will help to ensure underserved communities have access to the resources and services they need to lead healthy and safe lives, especially during the pandemic, and continue our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in Long Island."
Assemblymember Michael Montesano said, “Having seen how much fantastic and life-saving work the Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services have done since the first mobile addiction treatment van, I am thrilled they are getting more money for a second van. Since the beginning, I have been a huge supporter of this project, as the opioid crisis on Long Island is still a very real issue. I hope that we can continue to increase funding in the future for a chance to allow them to widen their reach across Long Island and to help more of those in need.”
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).
Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website.
If you, or a loved one, have experienced insurance obstacles related to treatment or need help filing an appeal for a denied claim, contact the CHAMP helpline by phone at 888-614-5400 or email at [email protected]