The New York state budget includes nearly $2 million to fund initiatives in Nassau County combatting an opioid and substance abuse epidemic, including an array of recovery services, state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck) said last Friday.
Officials said the budget provides $350,000 in funding for a Thrive Recovery Center in Westbury, $600,000 for peer-to-peer programs, and $1 million for Recovery High School programming.
Also included in the budget are a higher cap on co-payments and a behavioral health insurance requirement allowing people seeking recovery to get 28-day substance use disorder treatment programs without prior authorization.
“The crisis of addiction affects every family, school, and community on Long Island,“ Kaplan said, “and if we are going to win the fight against substance abuse disorder, we need to do everything we can to get people into long-term recovery.”
Recovery high schools are secondary schools designed specifically for students recovering from addiction, according to the Association of Recovery Schools.
“The Recovery High School model is basically an alternative education program for those who want to pursue education in a substance-free environment with other kids like them,” Sean Collins, a Kaplan spokesman, said.
The Family and Children’s Association, a Mineola-based nonprofit organization offering addiction prevention, treatment and recovery programs, will be running the Thrive Recovery Center starting in May.
The association also runs the Thrive Recovery Center in Hauppauge.
Much of the $600,000, meanwhile, will be going toward the association’s peer-to-peer programming, Collins said. This involves embedding individuals, who are currently in long-term recovery, in emergency rooms and medical care facilities so they can help others seek further treatment and prevent relapses.
“As Long Island continues to address an historic opioid crisis, we are fortunate to have a NYS Senate delegation that understands the importance of prevention, access to treatment and recovery,” Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, the president and CEO of Family and Children’s Association, said in a statement.
The New York State Department of Health estimates in a quarterly report that 607 people on Long Island died from opioid overdoses in 2017 – 189 in Nassau County and 418 in Suffolk.
Drug overdoses killed more than 70,000 Americans in 2017, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.