Addiction treatment services in Broome County were officially expanded Thursday with the opening of the Syracuse Behavioral Health Binghamton Evaluation Center.
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Detox programs are a short-term service designed to prepare and connect people with addictions to longer-term treatment options.
A number of addictive substances cause withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be severe and require medical supervision. Alcohol, opioids and benzodiazepines are three categories of substances for which supervised detoxification is recommended.
“New York’s strategy to fight the opioid epidemic involves significant state resources to expand treatment beds, enabling more New Yorkers on the road to recovery,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, co-chair of NY’s Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force. “The Southern Tier has been hit hard by this crisis and with this latest announcement, we continue to invest in solutions to save lives.”
The new facility includes 50 medically assisted admission and stabilization beds that will be in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) provides $1.5 million annually in operational funding for the program.
“As addiction continues to devastate communities across the country, New York is doubling its efforts to fight this epidemic,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “The expansion of treatment services in the southern stratum will allow us to tackle this problem head-on and provide assistance and resources to those seeking help.”
Senator Fred Akshar, an early supporter of the facility, also weighed in on the opening.
“Today is an important step forward in our efforts to save lives against the tide of heroin and opioid addiction that has plagued families in the Southern Tier. It is clear that when we work together and put people before politics, we can achieve positive results and that can help people who suffer from addiction,” Akshar said. “The opioid epidemic has already claimed far too many lives and shattered far too many families in the Southern Tier. In times of crisis, it is the duty of all of us to be united and work together to help those in need.”
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar added that the announcement is a victory for Broome County. “It’s about saving lives and fighting the opioid epidemic in Broome County. When I took office, I promised to bring a treatment facility to Broome County.”
Councilor Clifford Crouch weighed in, adding: “This is a huge step in the fight against the opioid and heroin epidemic here in the Southern Tier. It is crucial to their successful rehabilitation to provide those struggling with addiction with the necessary treatment, medication and support.”
Assembly Donna Lupardo said stabilization is the first step in helping people dealing with addiction.
“With the opening of the Syracuse Behavioral Health facility at the Broome Developmental Center, we will finally have a full continuum of care, working with our other providers, to help local residents,” Lupardo said.
Cuomo’s office urged those struggling with addiction, or those with family members who struggle, to call the NY HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY. Help seekers can also text 467369 (HOPENY).
Is treatment affordable?
According to the state’s website, programs funded by OASAS cannot refuse individual treatment just because they can’t pay or because they don’t have insurance.
Treatment programs not funded by OASAS are encouraged to follow the same principles, including offering treatment grants to help people who face financial barriers to treatment.
If a person is rejected from attempting to seek treatment due to a lack of insurance and/or cannot afford the care, the interested party should ask the health care provider whether he is being funded by OASAS. It is against the law for an OASAS funded provider to deny care to a person because they are unable to afford the care.
If the person in need pays for care out of pocket, the program should provide a list of reimbursements in advance to help understand how much the treatment will cost.
Anyone denied access to a treatment program is urged by the state to ask the program to provide a written reason for not accepting care before leaving the premises.
Is treatment accessible?
A database of available beds in treatment centers in the state can be found at: findaddictiontreatment.ny.gov.
Three beds have been available at Fairview Recovery Services in Binghamton since Wednesday. Outpatient availability was posted in the Broome County Addiction Center, New Horizons and the United Health Services Opioid Treatment-Outpatient Program. Fairview Recovery Services and Merrick House were listed as of April 18 with a one-bed opening in each facility.
In a search on Thursday, none of the lists included a bed in the SBH Binghamton Evaluation Center.
SBH Corporate has not yet commented on the opening of the facility.
Where will the new facility be located?
The SBH Binghamton Evaluation Center is located in Building One on the campus of the Broome County Developmental Center, at 249 Glenwood Road in Binghamton.
Work on the New York State Dormitory (DASNY) site included interior renovations as well as the purchase and coordination of kitchen furniture and appliances. DASNY also provided real estate services to help OASAS and the Bureau of People with Developmental Disabilities prepare a lease for the property.
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