State money to help GCASA in Orleans County | Local News

BATAVIA – The $250,000 Governor Kathy Hochul announced this week for the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) will help GCASA provide more services in Orleans County, said the executive director of the GCASA.

CEO John Bennett said at his main county location at 249 East Ave. at Albion, that GCASA currently offers two of three drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat addiction.

“We currently do not offer methadone, which is the gold standard for opioid addiction treatment. Orleans County was hit hard by the opioid epidemic in 2017-18 when they were at 32 deaths per 100,000,” Bennett said. “We saw a drop in overdose deaths in 2019, and then the global pandemic hit and things went up again.”

Bennett said GCASA currently offers methadone in Genesee County. There are about 40 people from Orleans County who travel to Batavia daily or three times a week to get their medicine, he said. When the reorganization of the clinic is completed, these people will no longer have to drive to Batavia.

“Re-engineering our clinic (in Albion) to be integrated so that we can offer methadone as well as the other two drugs will significantly reduce relapse rates and therefore save lives. This is going to improve the community’s ability to be treated for opioid addiction,” he said. “With this money, we will be able to add a distribution window. It will just be more convenient to be able to get their medication and treatment at this clinic. I would say we’re still probably four to six months away from being able to do that. »

Bennett said the money will allow GCASA to hire additional medical staff and clinical staff.

“GCASA’s Batavia site also serves several local prisons, including those in Albion, which sometimes makes transportation difficult. Having a location in Orleans County will enhance the ability to serve the Department of Corrections, including the local county jail.

Hochul this week announced an award of $3,446,865 to be divided among 14 addiction treatment providers across the state, which will allow them to develop comprehensive, integrated outpatient treatment programs.

“Ensuring access to necessary treatment for drug addiction is an important and ongoing goal of my administration,” Hochul said. “Drug addiction is a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of origin. It is essential that we continue our work to support comprehensive programs that expand access to care and resources for New Yorkers and their families who need it most.

These programs are a new initiative designed to address the ongoing need for comprehensive treatment in New York State, Hochul said.

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