This week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he is awarding $853,000 in the second round of funding awards in an initiative to help addiction service providers create and operate mobile treatment vehicles.
The goal of the funding is to help reach people who don’t have the resources available locally. The mobile treatment initiative first found funding in 2017, when the state of New York was looking for ways to provide services to people in far-flung counties that had big needs.
The services, called the Centers of Opioid Treatment Innovation, now serve high-need counties throughout the state. They work to establish relationships with people who have substance use disorders and their families. Often, these are people who have never gotten help before or for whatever circumstances haven’t been able to stay sober.
How Mobile Treatment Services Work
Each mobile unit has a bathroom and an area that’d been designed for therapy sessions. The vans can accommodate therapy one-on-one or in a group setting. It can also serve as a place for people to attend their telehealth services. If you can’t access treatment, the treatment comes to you.
OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez says, “Meeting people where they are is more important than ever and this new funding to provide mobile treatment services will be invaluable in helping to expand access to life-saving resources for New Yorkers who are dealing with addiction. The opioid crisis coupled with the pandemic presented us with a significant opportunity to look for more ways to expand our reach to underserved communities and to help individuals who are unable to travel distances due to lack of transportation or other personal or geographical reasons.”
So far, the program has helped 13,000 New Yorkers. Now, with the addition of other vans, new counties can be added to the program. Hopefully, they can reach people who previously fell between the cracks.