With the support and backing at both the state and federal levels, New York healthcare workers and service providers have been united in their championing of one urgent message: addiction is a public health issue.
It doesn’t just affect the person suffering from this type of mental and physical disorder; it affects everyone around them. This includes their immediate families, friends, community, and, ultimately, the entire state of New York.
Scroll down to learn more about addiction treatment in New York.
According to the New York State Department of Health’s Opioid Quarterly Report for January 2023, there was a 14% increase in opioid-related overdose deaths in 2021 from the previous year with a total of 4,766.
In fact, in New York, drug overdose deaths are higher than suicides, homicides, and vehicle-related deaths combined.
Other statistics include a 12.6% increase in outpatient Emergency Department visits caused by opioid overdoses including heroin and a 30.2% increase in opioid overdoses of prescription drugs, such as fentanyl and oxycodone. There was also a 12% increase in naloxone administration by Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Fentanyl has been a primary cause of most of these cases because it’s considered 50-–100 times stronger than heroin. Other drugs are also a major cause for concern, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and opioids like morphine, methadone, and tramadol.
Unfortunately, these numbers are more often seen among the youth aged 12–17 with most of them also having a gambling problem, which only works to exacerbate their substance abuse.
Based on data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2015 to 2019, New York is also facing an alcohol abuse crisis with 15 million residents diagnosed as alcoholics. Out of these 15 million, nearly 7,000 died of alcohol abuse with about 2% of these deaths being under the age of 21.
To help combat these alarming statistics, New York Mayor Eric Adams launched a mental health plan earlier this year. Titled “Care, Community, Action: A Mental Health Plan for New York City” focuses on addressing the ever-growing problem of substance abuse. It also aims to expand serious mental illness support for New Yorkers.
Mental health service providers often rely on one or more treatment modalities. This helps provide patients with a tailored program that meets their individual needs for a more beneficial and rewarding path to recovery.
Most also integrate traditional therapies, such as behavior and cognitive, with alternative methods. For example, therapists can combine psychoanalysis with cognitive-behavioral therapy and Gestalt therapy, which highlights the importance of being mindful of the present and assuming accountability for oneself.
This blend of techniques is geared toward offering a more holistic approach. In addition, it also helps address co-occurring disorders, such as mental illness co-existing with a substance use disorder
A few examples of these types of mental illnesses include depression, bipolar or anxiety disorders, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Co-occurring disorders are quite common among those seeking treatment for substance or alcohol abuse.
Below are some of the more common treatment programs available in many of New York’s rehab centers.
Detox involves getting rid of the accumulated drugs in the body as safely and comfortably as possible.
All programs in New York are managed by clinicians who provide the necessary medication to mitigate withdrawal symptoms and ensure the process goes without any complications.
Residential treatment offers a more intensive form of therapy and has the highest success rates. The program offers a more structured system compared to outpatient with patients being cared for 24/7.
This allows them to fully recover while being in the safety and comfort of the treatment center. It also helps them learn how to cope in the outside world without feeling the urge to relapse.
With outpatient programs, patients go to therapy 3–5 times a week. They continue to receive treatment to help them manage everyday life and know what their triggers are and how to avoid them. At the same time, they continue to go to work, and school, as well as take care of their families.
There are programs specifically designed for certain members of the New York community.
According to one study, one in 10 veterans has been diagnosed with substance use disorder. This is a clear indication that veterans are more vulnerable to the misuse of drugs and alcohol due to the traumatic events they witnessed.
Another vulnerable group is the LGBTQ+ community, which faces greater social stigma and discrimination. This often leads to an increased rate of addiction disorders and substance abuse.
Based on a recent survey, almost 22% of people in the LGBTQ+ community have had an alcohol-use disorder. To reduce these numbers, politicians recently voted to pass the Senate Bill S993A. It requires the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports to ensure that patients receive addiction services based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
One effective post-treatment resource is sober living homes, which are often sought out by those transitioning from an inpatient treatment center to a normal life. These homes provide individuals with the stability and structure they need for a successful recovery journey.
There are also local support groups, 12-step meetings, and alumni networks that offer a safe space for individuals to share their experiences. These groups are either completely free or come with a ‘pay-what-you-can’ fee.
They’re all led by trained volunteers and aim to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Some even cater to specific groups, such as young adults, teens, the LGBTQ+ community, women, or men.
Additionally, New Yorkers also have access to community outreach programs that strive to prevent substance and alcohol abuse. The programs are designed to appeal to young children as well as older adults. They help increase awareness through preventative education campaigns, speaking events, and media campaigns.
Out of all 50 states, New York treats the most patients suffering from substance use disorders. It’s also ranked 22nd in most affordable to most costly residential drug rehabilitation services.
According to current statistics, the cost of residential treatment in The Empire State is approximately $57,000. Individual outpatient treatments cost an average of $1,700 per single admission.
These costs vary depending on the type of rehab and the patient’s individual needs. They’re also greatly affected by the individual’s health insurance plan.
Many insurance policies include a form of care known as ‘addiction treatment insurance.’ This type of coverage is designed to support individuals through the various steps of the recovery program, from detox to rehabilitation, and continues through to post-rehab.
Most insurance plans include some of the most essential treatment services, such as:
- Medical detox programs
- Inpatient treatments
- Outpatient treatment
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Therapy, counseling, and other related mental health (MH) services
- Aftercare support
Several rehab grants provide patients with the financial support they need to seek treatment. Individuals apply for the grant or scholarship of their choosing, which is awarded on a ‘per need’ basis.
The most popular grants are from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Also referred to as block grants, most SAMHSA grants are funded by Congress to help fund mental health services on a state level.
Yet, some provide care to a specific segment of the population, such as IV drug users, people at a higher risk for HIV/AIDS, and those who don’t have insurance.
Individuals can also seek financial assistance for substance abuse treatment from:
- State-funded substance abuse and detox treatment programs
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- The US Department of Veterans Affairs
- Non-profit organizations,
- Churches or local charities
Below are two stories from individuals who sought out treatment for their substance abuse disorders in New York. Both accounts focus on the importance of personalized care via local programs and the support they received from various community members.
As a young teen, Patrick was already an alcoholic. He went to his first rehab when he was 17, but got kicked out 10 days later. His life continued to be a series of rehab, short stints of sobriety, then drinking again.
It wasn’t until he’d been divorced, flat broke, and homeless that Patrick stumbled across a Big Book study. The book’s message helped him go through the 12 Steps, which is when he was finally able to free himself from the triggers that caused him to drink.
Patrick is now a social worker. In addition to his sponsees, he goes into jails to speak with those suffering from alcohol abuse.
Gina had been a heroin user from when was 13 until she was 33. Her disorder quickly took over her life, but she had refused help several times before.
It wasn’t until she was at her lowest that she finally decided to ask for help at a local rehab center.
Luckily, Gina had a social worker who refused to give up on her. She encouraged her to go through detox, and attend meetings and introduced her to some of the girls living in a recovery house.
Her family and friends were also staunch supporters throughout her journey.
Today, Gina is working on getting her associate’s degree in social work.
As you can see, New York is fiercely battling addiction. With its preventative resources and interventive treatment programs, there’s no shortage of ways to conquer this disorder.
Are you, or someone you know, suffering from substance or alcohol abuse? Then, check out the vast list of resources made available by the state that have helped thousands of people get their lives back.