The City of Buffalo’s drug court could be a model in the fight against a nationwide overdose epidemic.

But for some drug addicts – the path after you leave drug court isn’t always clear. 

If you’re fresh out of drug court and ready for a rehab program. Finding an in-patient treatment program isn’t always easy. Now, the organization “Save the Michaels” will serve as the link between what happens after someone leaves drug court and how they can get on the right road to recovery. 

Deanne Stanton’s son Robert, now 21, has been sober for 93 days now.

She said, “It was a nightmare. There were times when his father, his sister, myself we cried because we didn’t think we were going to get help.”

But getting her son into a treatment program wasn’t easy. After drugs landed him in the hospital, he was told he didn’t have many options. 

Standton said, “There are only two facilities in Upstate New York that accept your insurance. One is 8.5 hours away, and one is 5.5 hours away. Then we were told, “we have to discharge your son because we can’t transfer him to this facility.”

But someone told her to call, “Save The Michaels.” 

The non profit that helps facilitate what happens after drug court, or just about anyone who wants help. 

“They stepped in, and they get my son placed in less than 24 hours.”

Company Founder Avi Israel got a call from Oasis asking him to get involved in drug court placement. 

Now they’re the lead agency doing this. Israel said, “We are doing the placement for 6 courts in Erie County. Eventually, we will go and take over 48 courts in each judicial system.” 

Case Manager Janet Gaskin says the nonprofit will work through every local drug court in Western New York to find in-state treatment beds when there are no local beds available

In just the past ten days between the courts and hospitals, and just phone calls to the office, Save the Michaels has placed 51 people in recovery programs. 

His team is transporting  people all over the state, providing fresh food, clothes and a fresh start too.

Having Save the Michaels coordinate in-state treatment will allow funding paid by Medicaid or local insurers to stay in the state.

The organization will be working with the State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse services to place individuals in one of 12 addiction treatment centers across New York.