City gets money to fight opioids

Rebecca Linn-Walton is an executive in the city’s hospital system and she hasn’t used drugs for 20 years.

“It all fell apart and I was blessed with a really loving family that was ready to give me the help I needed,” she told NY1 on Thursday. “

Care she says they lavish in Bellevue.

And the care we desperately need right now.

What do you want to know

  • Every four hours someone in town dies of an overdose
  • Attorney General secured $1.5 billion in funding through settlements with opioid distributors and manufacturers
  • Now that funding is going to prevention, treatment and education

On Thursday, public health officials, the attorney general and the mayor announced $88.9 million for the city this year to address the opioid crisis. The money comes from $1.5 billion the attorney general secured through settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors.

“These funds will be placed in a locked box,” said state Attorney General Letitia James. “They will primarily go to treatment, prevention and education and to reverse overdoses.”

It is not known how the money will be distributed.

Many programs have sprung up to deal with the crisis — like two new overdose prevention centers in Manhattan where people can use illegal drugs under supervision. There, overdoses can be reversed in real time.

Another organization, Housing Works, is trying to open another center in Manhattan this summer.

These sites would probably not be the recipients of this money, as they are in violation of federal law.

“Now when you look at overdose prevention centers, what we can’t do is saturate a community with them, like I see in Harlem, and we really want to look at that,” the mayor said when he was asked about the centers on Thursday.

These programs and the money come as the city experiences record overdoses year after year. And providers are hoping this new funding can make a difference.

“This money should be used for prevention, treatment and recovery services across the city,” said Ann-Marie Foster of Phoenix House NY, a residential and outpatient treatment provider. “These dollars need to be put directly into the hands of treatment providers, like Phoenix House, like other community organizations that have traditionally dealt with marginalized people who have suffered from the overdose crisis.”

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