New York State received more than $2 billion through various settlement agreements with opioid manufacturers. These funds for NY State are just a small part of the $26 Billion settlement paid to 46 states in total.
In general, how this money will be spent to pay a portion directly to municipalities, with the remainder being deposited into a dedicated fund to support prevention, treatment, recovery, harm reduction, and education efforts to address the ongoing opioid epidemic.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced the availability of up to $7.5 million for state-certified providers and other treatment programs to establish low-threshold buprenorphine services to address opioid addiction and save lives. Administered by the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the grants will be the first to tap New York State’s Opioid Settlement Fund and will help develop up to 15 programs offering this safe, effective treatment for opioid use disorder.
The funding will provide up to $500,000 for 15 programs statewide to offer low-threshold buprenorphine services. OASAS-certified treatment providers, clinics by the state Office of Mental Health, hospitals, syringe services programs, and harm reduction programs are eligible to apply for the funding.
The same legislation that established the dedicated fund also created the Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board, which is tasked with making recommendations on how settlement dollars should be allocated to best serve those in need. The Department of Health continues to advance a variety of harm reduction initiatives to reduce the burden of opioid abuse and dependency statewide. This includes New York MATTERS, an electronic referral system for connecting persons with opioid use disorder to local treatment and harm reduction services; the Local Health Department Initiative, providing funding to 24 county health departments with the highest overdose rates outside of New York City to bolster primary care, corrections, harm reduction, emergency departments, public safety; and more than 900 registered opioid overdose prevention programs.
An interagency task force has been developed to expand on the State’s harm reduction strategy options related to opioid use disorder treatment and harm reduction. Additionally, the State continues to advance 25 Syringe Exchange Programs (SEPs) with over 81 sites statewide. SEPs remain at the forefront of innovation in addressing the needs of New Yorkers who use drugs and lead in the distribution of naloxone to New Yorkers vulnerable to overdose. The State’s 14 Drug User Health Hubs have been built upon the foundations of the SEPs. These centers focus on reducing overdose by providing easy access to buprenorphine, building safety plans with people who have experienced a non-fatal overdose and equipping participants with naloxone.