New York state is setting millions of dollars in funding in order to provide more transportation for people to addiction treatment services in underserved areas, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Tuesday announced.
At the same time, the money will create prevention "coalitions" in New York City to aid vulnerable and isolated people, Hochul said.
Transportation funding will target areas of upstate New York, including western New York and the Finger Lakes, to boost transportation options.
"Addressing addiction in New York requires a coordinated statewide approach to get people the help they need," Hochul said. "This funding will help better engage vulnerable communities in New York City, while providing transportation to individuals who would otherwise be unable to access treatment in Western New York and the Finger Lakes - supporting our nation leading addiction treatment services."
All told, the state is spending $2.3 million to boost the addiction treatment efforts amid a sharp rise in overdose deaths in New York coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic. State health officials this week warned of a rise in overdoses in parts of central New York, including Oneida County.
Earlier this summer, state health officials required pharmacies to carry naloxone, a drug used to counter the effects of an overdose.
"Meeting people wherever they are and ensuring full access to different types of help is one of the cornerstones of our work," Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said. "With this funding to enhance prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery supports across New York State, we are giving people more options to find the services they need, and I look forward to the many benefits these new programs will bring."