The New York Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board met in Albany on Wednesday in the wake of learning last week that OASAS, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, rejected two of the board’s recommendations to fund harm reduction efforts under the Department of Health. 

OASAS, under Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham, recently launched its own harm reduction unit. 

In a letter to the Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board (OSFAB), OASAS quashed the idea of funding for overdose prevention centers which are considered a form of harm reduction. OASAS also may have decided not to fund harm reduction treatment provided by the Department of Health.   

The DOH has been spearheading harm reduction for years.

Much of Wednesday's meeting was given over to voices from New York City’s two Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs); upstate recovery advocates wanted to discuss other types of harm reduction.

Avi Israel, of Save the Michaels of the World, and Ashley Livingston, co-chair of Friends of Recovery of Warren & Washington Counties, are both members of the Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board. They joined Susan Arbetter on Capital Tonight.