Governor Cuomo Announces New Actions To Strengthen The Fight Against Heroin And Opioid Addiction

$4.5 Million Request for Applications for the Development of New Open Access Centers Across New York.

Print Email

Photo by: aloisiocostalatge

Albany, NY - August 29, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced two new actions to expand addiction treatment and recovery services for people across New York. A Request for Applications makes up to $4.5 million in funding available to develop nine Open Access Centers across the state and a Request for Information has been released that seeks input on the development of two pilot recovery high schools. These actions were announced at the grand opening of a new $8.4 million outpatient addiction treatment center in Rochester, and are key elements of the Governor's State of the State address and 2018 FY State Budget.
"With these latest efforts and the opening of a new outpatient center in Rochester, New York continues to break down barriers for residents in need of treatment and recovery services," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue the fight to break this vicious cycle of addiction and make critical funding available in order to support a stronger, healthier New York for all."
"As co-chair of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force, I have heard from families all across New York who have felt the impact of this deadly addiction," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This administration is taking aggressive actions to combat addiction, provide resources, and support the vital recovery of our families and communities. Open access centers will secure the supportive environments that our communities need and provide families with a place to turn in times of crisis."
Request for Applications: 24-7 Open Access Centers
The $4.5 million RFA seeks proposals for establishing Open Access Centers throughout New York State. The centers will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to deliver immediate engagement, assessment and referral services to people suffering from substance use disorders.
Creating at least one Open Access Center in each region of the state was one component of a plan the Governor put forward in his State of the State and budget message in January.
The RFA is open to local governments and non-profit organizations. Responses are due October 31 and the RFA can be viewed online here.
Funding through the RFA will be awarded to develop Open Access Centers in nine of the state's 10 regions, with the exception of Central New York. There, Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare was selected to develop a 24-7 Open Access Center, through a locally issued, state-funded procurement.
Request for Information: Recovery High Schools
The RFI seeks input on the development and implementation of two pilot recovery high schools. A recovery high school offers an alternative, multi-service high school program in a safe, sober, and supportive environment, for students who are in grades nine through 12 and dealing with a substance use disorder. Treatment and recovery services and support are incorporated into the normal school environment as part of the educational programming, and also play a role in staffing.
The RFI seeks information from Boards of Cooperative Education Services and nonprofits partnering with one or more BOCES, that are interested in implementing recovery high schools in New York State. Responses are due October 31 and the RFI can be viewed online here.
Restart Outpatient Clinic in Rochester
Restart Outpatient Clinic's new facility in Rochester's Central Business District also celebrated its grand opening today with a ribbon cutting by OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez and local officials. The facility is adjacent to the Regional Transit System Transit Center bus depot, at 79 North Clinton Avenue. It is operated by Catholic Family Center and offers an array of substance use disorder and mental health services, in both English and Spanish.
Restart, which has been operating in Rochester since 1977, moved to the North Clinton Avenue site from another location in the city. OASAS supported renovating the North Clinton building, with a capital grant of up to $8.4 million.
OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State has been a consistent innovator, supporting a full continuum of addiction services, including prevention, treatment and recovery, for people of all ages. Recovery high schools and Open Access Centers are truly forward-thinking and offer an incredible opportunity to make a significant impact on the addiction epidemic sweeping our state."
Senator George Amedore, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, said, "Open Access Centers are an integral component as we continue our efforts to increase access to support services for those who are battling addiction. I commend all of our state and local leaders for continuing to make the battle against addiction a top priority as New York continues to strengthen services for communities in need in every corner of the state."
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said, "As the sponsor of legislation to establish recovery high schools in New York, I am pleased that the Governor is taking this important step to help support our courageous young women and men who are serious about proceeding with their education while battling substance use disorder. Coupled with critical funding for open access centers, these actions will help provide vital supports to those struggling with addiction statewide. I applaud the Governor, and look forward to working with the Administration to further increase resources to help combat opioid and heroin abuse statewide."
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, 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 including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the new and improved NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at or through the Access Treatment page on the NYS OASAS website. Visit the #CombatAddiction website at to learn more about how you can help to #CombatAddiction in your community.
Visit for more information on addressing heroin and prescription opioid abuse, including a Kitchen Table Tool Kit to help start the conversation about the warning signs of addiction and where to get help. For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the State's Talk2Prevent website.