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Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez Announces a Competitive Solicitation for the Addition of 50 Residential Beds in Western New York and Long Island

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Jannette Rondó, 518-457-8299
jannetterondó@oasas.ny.gov
www.oasas.ny.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2013

Commissioner González-Sánchez Announces a Competitive Solicitation for the Addition of 50 Residential Beds in Western New York and Long Island

Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez, of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), announced today that the agency is releasing a request for proposal to increase the number of residential beds serving young adults battling prescription drug misuse and opiate addiction.

Prescription drug abuse is pervasive throughout the country and in New York State. According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1 in 22 (4.6%) persons over the age of 12 reported using pain relievers non-medically in the past year.

“Prescription drug misuse is a serious public health concern, especially for our young people,” said Commissioner González-Sánchez. “When the supply of prescription opioids dries up younger addicts frequently graduate to heroin or other illegal drugs,” the Commissioner added.

Various indicators of prescription drug misuse and heroin addiction are particularly evident in Long Island and Western New York, where OxyContin and Vicodin are the two most frequently prescribed prescription opioids.

In Long Island, between 2007 and 2011, non-crisis admissions to drug treatment programs for prescription opioids more than doubled, rising from 1,498 to 3,565, an increase of over 133 percent. The number of accidental drug overdose deaths involving prescription opioids in Nassau County more than tripled from 28 in 2004 to 89 in 2011. In addition, findings from a youth development survey conducted among 7-12th graders in Long Island in 2010 indicate that non-medical use of prescription opioids (referred to in the survey as painkillers) surpassed that of any other category of prescription medication.

Similarly, in the Western New York region, between 2008 and 2010, the number of hydrocodone prescriptions filled in Erie County, the largest county in the region, was more than triple the number of prescriptions of any other controlled prescription drug. Between 2007 and 2011, non-crisis admissions to drug treatment programs for prescription opioids in Erie County rose from 842 to 1,462, a 74 percent increase. Individuals under 35 years of age accounted for 72 percent of all prescription opioid admissions to treatment in Erie County between 2007 and 2011.

OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, “To help combat the complex and often intertwined issue of prescription and illicit drug abuse, we will add 50 residential beds in Western New York and Long Island to expand services to New Yorkers, to address the downward addiction spiral and, ultimately, to help mitigate the public health crisis that addiction fuels.”

OASAS intends to award two 25 bed projects, one in Long Island and one in Western New York, through the OASAS 2013 Planning Supplement —Young Adult Residential Treatment. The solicitation will be distributed to Local Governmental units and OASAS certified methadone residential and intensive residential not-for-profit providers. Proposals will be scored on a capital and programmatic scale. Providers must demonstrate the ability to provide the appropriate residential services and complete the capital project in a timely manner. It is anticipated that the awards will be made available by mid-April.

OASAS oversees one of the nation's largest addiction services systems dedicated to Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, with more than 1,650 programs serving over 100,000 New Yorkers on any given day.

Addiction is a chronic disease, but New Yorkers need to know that help is available. Individuals can get help by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day a week HOPEline, 1-877-8-HOPENY, staffed by trained clinicians who are ready to answer questions, help refer loved ones to treatment and provide other vital resources to facilitate that first step into recovery.

For more information, please visit www.oasas.ny.gov.

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