Bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House would create emergency grants for counties and Central New York community-based organizations that serve individuals with substance use disorders.
Substance use and overdose deaths in Central New York have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. This increase has been attributed to the isolation caused by New York’s stay-at-home order.
Local community and nonprofit organizations have hired staff and implementing teleconferencing and other methods to treat patients. Under the bill, these organizations would receive direct emergency assistance to continue treatment, education, and outreach efforts during the pandemic.
“With a recent spike in overdose deaths in Central New York, it is clear we need to act swiftly to provide assistance to those struggling with addiction during this pandemic,” U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY), who cosponsored the bill with U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH), said. “For this reason, I am proud to join Representative Kuster in introducing bipartisan legislation that will create emergency grants for counties and community-based organizations that serve individuals with substance use disorders. By providing emergency support, we will ensure counties and local organizations have the ability to continue conducting outreach and providing assistance to those struggling with substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic.”