New York has made available all the funding provided in the first year of the opioid settlement agreements. This funding, approximately $192.8 million, is supporting a variety of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery initiatives to help New Yorkers impacted by the opioid and overdose crisis.
New York State is receiving more than $2 billion through various settlement agreements with opioid manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies that were secured by Attorney General Letitia James. A portion of the funding from these settlements will go directly to municipalities, with the remainder deposited into a dedicated fund to support prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery efforts to address the ongoing opioid epidemic.
More than $192 million was deposited into the settlement fund account for the first fiscal year, and is being made available and awarded in accordance with the priorities of the New York State Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board as presented in the November 2022 report to the Governor and Legislature. This report detailed the expansion of harm reduction services and treatment as the Board’s top priorities.
The funding made available includes support for the following initiatives:
- Regional abatements for local governments. This funding is available to be spent by municipalities once they submit spending plans to OASAS.
- A scholarship program to support more than 300 individuals looking to enter or advance in the addiction services workforce.
- Transitional Safety Units, which provide funding for providers operating supportive housing programs.
- Funding for Recovery Centers to support their work in reaching individuals in recovery with non-clinical support and recovery information.
- The establishment of Comprehensive Integrated Outpatient Treatment Programs. These programs are a new initiative designed to address the need for integrated treatment, providing medication for addiction treatment (MAT) and other comprehensive health services in one location.
- Low-threshold buprenorphine services designed to facilitate same day access to MAT and addiction care management.
- Prevention coalitions and prevention programming and education targeted towards youth.
- The “Connections to Care” initiative to help underserved and high-need individuals access the full continuum of addiction care.
- Support for a transportation program providing access to destinations supporting individualized recovery efforts and goals.
- Funding to support outreach and engagement efforts that connect high-need individuals to harm reduction and treatment services.
- Services specifically for people who use drugs in priority populations, including to support evidence-based harm reduction strategies and to increase access to low-threshold medical services.
- Expansion of services offered within the State’s Syringe Service Programs / Drug User Health Hubs and funding for harm reduction supplies through the State’s Syringe Exchange Programs.
Preliminary data show more than 6,300 overdose deaths in New York State in 2022, with opioids involved in more than three-quarters of those deaths. In addition to the initiatives funding through the Opioid Settlement Fund, New York State continues to work to expand and enhance services through a series of other efforts to address this trend. These include the development of mobile medication units (MMUs) throughout New York State, which provide prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services, as well as connections to other addiction and primary healthcare services. This initiative is designed to help bring services to underserved areas and reach people who may face issues accessing treatment, by bringing services directly to them.
The State has taken significant steps to expand access to naloxone, including distribution by the Department of Health of more than 360,000 naloxone kits last year. To enhance access even further, OASAS recently launched a new ordering system for individuals and organizations to obtain naloxone, as well as fentanyl and xylazine test strips.
“New York is not only leading the way in the efforts to hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable, we are taking swift action to put settlement dollars to work to reverse the harm they have caused,” Governor Hochul said. “These efforts are making a difference in communities across the state, and we are continuing to work to deliver further support and assistance so that all New Yorkers can access the services they need through a series of initiatives to address all types of behavioral health needs.”
New York State Attorney General Letitia James said, “The first $192 million secured through my opioid litigation is already helping vulnerable communities recover from years of damage caused by the opioid epidemic and preventing future devastation. These funds are giving New Yorkers access to the resources they need to heal and are being invested in our communities to address the root causes of opioid addiction, as will the rest of the $2.6 billion secured by my office in years to come. I thank Governor Hochul and the many organizations and individuals on the frontlines addressing this public health crisis for their commitment to helping New York recover from the opioid epidemic.”