Funding will help retain and support 500 certified peer advocates statewide in 2017
Editorial by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (NYS OASAS) announced $250,000 in funding to support 500 certified recovery peer advocates across New York. This funding will help offset costs associated with becoming a certified recovery peer advocate, including the cost of renewing the certification for current advocates, to increase peer support services for individuals recovering from substance abuse.
"Peer support services are essential to our system of care and are a vital part of the treatment and life-long recovery process," OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. "This initiative further strengthens our efforts to develop a coordinated network of community-based services and recovery supports that build upon the strengths and resiliency of individuals, families and communities."
As part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ongoing efforts to increase support for New Yorkers recovering from substance abuse, this investment will help combat addiction and promote recovery in communities throughout the state. Funding will be available to offset costs associated with the certification application, examination fees, educational coursework and internship opportunities.
Certified peer advocates are either in recovery themselves, or have a close family member in recovery, and work in limited settings that are approved by OASAS, while under the supervision of a credentialed or licensed clinical staff member. They provide support services based on clinical need, and help patients develop recovery plans and learn effective coping habits. Certified peers can also provide support in official settings, like court hearings.
Administered by OASAS, funds will be distributed through an application process overseen by OASAS-approved certified recovery peer advocate certification boards. Current certified recovery peer advocates will be eligible to apply for renewal fee reimbursements, and new applicants will be eligible to apply for support to complete required training to become certified.
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, seven-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 this new and improved NYS OASAS treatment availability dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the access treatment page on the NYS OASAS website. Visit the #CombatAddiction website at oasas.ny.gov/CombatAddiction to learn more about how you can help to #CombatAddiction in your community.
Visit www.combatheroin.ny.gov 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.