NYS OASAS today announced a name change from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), which along with other notable changes will address the replacement of stigmatizing language in the system of addiction care in New York State. The name change is effective immediately.
The new name also coincides with the launch of a new OASAS website. The redesigned website will ensure that information and resources related to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery are easily accessible to the public. The address of the website remains at https://oasas.ny.gov/.
“I have been proud to spearhead our aggressive efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in partnership with OASAS as Co-Chair of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The renaming of OASAS to the Office of Addiction Services and Supports is part of our ongoing efforts to reduce the stigma of addiction and better highlight the services and support offered to individuals and families across the state. We want to make sure we are continuing to raise awareness and are committed to advancing investments in treatment and recovery centers to address the crisis and help save lives.”
“Addiction services have changed over the years, and we need to continue to adapt to these changes,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “This is a major step towards aligning state law with our mission, with a new name that is much more reflective of the recovery-centered goals of our agency. In addition, our new state-of-the-art website will help people in need better access to information and services related to addiction. Through these steps, we are helping to ensure that New York State continues to lead the nation in providing a recovery-friendly environment for those affected by this disease.”
In addition to updating the name of the agency, other language changes include changing terms such as “alcoholism,” “alcoholic,” “alcoholic beverage,” “recovered alcoholic,” “alcohol abuse,” variations on the use of “substance” or “chemical dependence,” and gambling disorder as an “impulse control disorder.”
The OASAS website has also been redesigned to meet the specific needs of everyday New Yorkers and the OASAS provider population. The new website replaces both Talk2Prevent.ny.gov and CombatAddiction.ny.gov to create a one-stop-shop for help and information related to addiction, prevention, treatment and recovery services. The new website addresses the needs of both providers, and the general public, is easy to navigate, mobile responsive, and fully accessible.
Senator Pete Harckham said, “Residents of New York battling substance use disorders need support, not shame and blame. So, I am pleased that Governor Cuomo has signed legislation, which I sponsored, that renames, and modifies, the state agency that offers proper assistance for those seeking treatment—and those offering help. Because the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) serves as such a comprehensive information hub, it is best to ensure that access to its vital resources be as constructive and beneficial as possible.”
Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal said “Removing the stigma that surrounds addiction is an important step in getting more people into treatment. OASAS’ name change isn’t just representative of a shift in the way we view addictive disorders, it also reflects a reimagining of our approach to treatment and recovery efforts here in New York State. Building on this new approach, the State must make a significant commitment of resources to help OASAS combat addiction and overdose, with evidence-based approaches to prevention, treatment and recovery.”
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.