CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York has distributed nearly 200 million dollars stemming from the national opioid settlement case. NEWS10 speaking with area community-based groups about how and where the funding is being used to help battle the overdose crisis, here at home. Area providers that NEWS10 spoke with say the allotment of funding comes at time a when they need it most.
Kellie Roe, Executive Director, Second Chance Opportunities explains how she can use the money saying, “It allows us to hire more recovery coaches. Currently we have nine recovery coaches in the building.”
Now, they’ll be able to staff four more coaches and provide other things as well, like “transportation, coaches, expanding the program that we currently run,” said Roe. She says in October, they will get a check for nearly half a million dollars. That will double her budget for the next two years.
Rudy Fernandez, a recovered addict of nine years is now a Recovery Coach himself. He tells NEWS10 how it helped him on his journey to sobriety. “This is what i wish was happening to me when i was actively using. Have somebody there that I could actually identify with and has gone through the things I’ve gone through in life, and get me out of that cycle,” said Fernandez.
Gabrielle Draper with Alliance for Positive Health deals with recovery programs in 15 New York counties. The organization is using the settlement money to equip their staff with more tools to prevent overdose deaths.
“This is an opioid overdose recue kit. So, this is a Narcan kit, explains Draper. “So, you literally take it like so, and you push that red plunger right into somebody’s nose.”
In addition to reversing the effects of an overdose, they also provide ways to detect drugs laced with deadly synthetic opioids.
“This right here is a fentanyl test strips also have the xylazine ones and I always note Narcan is blue the xylazine ones are red.” Draper went to explain how to test. So, what you do is you take your powder pills, whatever it is and mix it with a little bit of water. It’s just like ph. strip and will come up with one line if it’s positive and two if it’s negative.” Draper says they also will be able to hire more staff.
For more information on where else the money is being spent New York has set up the Opioid Settlement Fund Tracker.