Long Islanders struggling with addiction will now have two 24/7 Open Access Centers available to them in Nassau and Suffolk County as part of a $4 million grant provided by New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Family & Children’s Association (FCA), with the support of Family Service League (FSL), two leading health and human service nonprofits on Long Island, were awarded $450,000 to operate both Nassau and Suffolk County Centers.
Upon arrival to the new Open Access Centers, adults and teens struggling with addiction will be immediately engaged with peer recovery coaches and thoroughly screened. Onsite support, information and referrals will be available to all who enter and those who may be in the midst of potentially life-threatening withdrawal will be brought to the closest emergency room.
Nassau’s Open Access Center is planned to be housed in FCA’s Family Treatment & Recovery Center in Hicksville. Those who seek services will have a safe place to minimize the risk of reengaging with substance use while peer recovery coaches seek the appropriate treatment services needed for the individual to overcome their addiction, whether at FCA’s Family Treatment & Recovery Center or elsewhere.
“Long Islanders struggling with addiction and their families are in need of services around the clock, not just between normal working hours,” said Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, president and CEO of FCA. Reynolds continued, “The new Open Access Centers will fill an existing gap which often leaves many individuals and families in the dark when they need help most. For over 130 years, FCA has been helping vulnerable families in need in new and innovative ways and we are pleased to move forward in the fight against the opioid epidemic with the support of Family Service League and NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.”
Serving individuals during weekend and evening hours, the new centers will fill a vital gap that exists in the current system where individuals with non-life-threatening concerns may find themselves with nowhere to go except the emergency room if more a local center with more traditional hours is closed.
These centers will add to the growing number treatment centers, detoxification facilities, inpatient programs, residential treatment programs, opioid treatment programs and medication management programs that currently exist on Long Island in addition to a 24 hour hotline operated by Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) which is an FCA affiliate. After published reports projected 600 overdose fatalities in 2017, facilitating access to addiction support around the clock will undoubtedly help saves lives and point Long Islanders suffering from addiction in the right direction towards recovery.
“FSL is proud to join FCA in providing critically needed Open Access Centers for those facing the harsh challenges of addiction. For years, people looking for help after hours, as well as their family and friends, have often found themselves with nowhere to turn. The FSL Suffolk County Open Access Center, based in Bay Shore, will offer quality, compassionate care with immediate assessment and referral options for appropriate healthcare,” stated Karen Boorshtein, FSL president and CEO. “For over four decades, FSL has been successfully helping our neighbors facing addiction on their difficult road to recovery. These centers will offer a new component and vital aspect to combating this devastating problem. Our appreciation to Governor Cuomo for recognizing this epidemic issue and allocating the much needed funds which will help thousands of Long Island residents.”
The collaboration between FCA and FSL comes at a time where combining expertise and resources may ultimately prove to reach more Long Islanders than ever before based on each agency’s substantial credibility within their communities.