Last week Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York announced the availability of up to $1 million for establishing vans to provide medications, including methadone and buprenorphine. The funding would go only to Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs), which would operate the vans. Funding is provided through the federal State Opioid Response (SOR) grant, and awarded through up to $200,000 would be allowed per van.
At up to $200,000 each, the vans are expensive, so not that many would be provided.
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the availability of up to $1 million for providers to establish mobile medication units to provide medications to treat substance use disorder, including methadone and buprenorphine. The development of these MMUs is made possible by a DEA rule change, allowing these units to be operated by existing Opioid Treatment Program providers. This federal funding is being provided to New York State through the federal State Opioid Response grant and is being awarded through an RFA administered by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports and the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene.
“As the addiction and overdose crisis continues its destructive path across the country, we remain committed to increasing resources and helping New Yorkers and their families who have been impacted,” Governor Hochul said. “We have seen success in mobile treatment initiatives in the past, and with this new funding we are further expanding our mobile services to reach New Yorkers in need who cannot access these critical services as we continue to build a safer, healthier New York State.”
The goal of this initiative is to award up to $200,000 for a provider in each of the five boroughs of New York City, however OASAS may make more than one award per borough depending on applications received. These mobile units will offer services that include admission assessments and medication induction, medication administration and observation, toxicology tests, and other medical services.
The RFA and other information related to this initiative can be viewed here.
Mobile units can help people facing barriers to treatment, including geographic proximity to OTP facilities and transportation issues, and increase the availability of medication for opioid use disorder. They will supplement already existing mobile services offered by OASAS-certified providers, including assessment, counseling, medications other than methadone for opioid use disorder treatment, telepractice, and transportation services.
OASAS Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said, “Medication to treat addiction, such as methadone and buprenorphine, has been proven to save lives and significantly improve health outcomes among those impacted by addiction. These new mobile units will enable us to reach individuals in need who may face difficulties traveling to a brick and mortar program to receive medication. This is an important service that will meet people where they are and will greatly benefit people throughout New York City.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “The opioid crisis has torn apart countless families and communities, and has led to hundreds of deaths and millions of addictions. It’s time we finally confront this epidemic head-on by working with all levels of government to provide New Yorkers with the support they need and deserve. I commend Governor Hochul for expanding resources for providers conducting this mission-critical work and saving lives.”
New York City Councilmember Linda Lee said, “We must address the ongoing addiction crisis and put in place appropriate resources for outreach to help New Yorkers struggling with substance use disorder. The funding provided by Governor Hochul for the expansion of mobile medication units in the state will give greater assistance to families across New York who desperately need these services.”
Over the past several years, New York State has instituted an aggressive, multi-pronged approach to addressing the overdose epidemic, and created a nation-leading continuum of addiction care with full prevention, treatment, and recovery services. To combat this epidemic, the state has worked to expand access to traditional services, including crisis services, inpatient, outpatient, and residential treatment programs, as well as medication for addiction treatment, and mobile treatment and transportation services.
Governor Hochul was a member of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force, which in 2016, recommended new, non-traditional services, including recovery centers, youth clubhouses, expanded peer services, and open access centers, which provide immediate assessments and referrals to care. These services have since been established in numerous communities around the state and have helped people in need access care closer to where they live.
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones need support, 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 services 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.