The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) today announced the availability of up to $500,000 to establish transportation demonstration projects aimed at testing regional solutions to improve transportation services for people who are in need of supportive services for substance use disorder, including treatment and recovery services. Two awards of up to $250,000 each will be made in upstate New York, one in a rural county and one in an urban county.
“The lack of reliable transportation is one of the main barriers that keeps many people in need from seeking services for a substance use disorder. This can impact people in urban, suburban, and rural areas,” OASAS Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said. “This funding allows us to work with our providers on the ground to address these issues, and improve transportation services for people in need of further support or resources.”
This pilot program will help to address isolation issues for people in treatment or recovery. For many people who need services, the lack of resources to travel to and from the programs they need has a negative impact on health outcomes. This has been made worse in some cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding awarded under this program must be used for non-medical transportation needs, such as recreational activities likely to increase social connection or emotional well-being, recovery supports, peer interactions, formal or informal mutual support groups such as SMART recovery and AA or NA meetings, and rides to treatment or harm reduction services or to service providers. Data and information from this pilot program will help to guide further expansions of transportation services across the state.
Further information on this project can be found here.
Senator Pete Harckham said, “The lack of transportation negatively impacts prospects for successful recovery. That’s why I introduced and helped enact legislation last year to fund a pilot program that gets people to the treatment they need. I am heartened that the funding is now being implemented.”
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, residential, 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].