By Glenn Blain
New York Daily News
ALBANY — State efforts to combat heroin and opioid addiction got a boost Wednesday with the opening of a $25.6 million residential treatment center on Wards Island.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul formally cut the ribbon on the 231-bed George Rosenfeld Center for Recovery Center, which will be operated by Odyssey House and provide addiction treatment services for women and older adults.
The center’s opening was one of a handful of measures announced Wednesday to bolster the state’s ongoing effort to combat substance abuse, especially heroin and opioid addiction.
“New York is committed to the fight against addiction, and with these latest investments, we are taking necessary steps to ensure individuals and families in underserved communities are connected with the resources and support services they need,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Other steps announced Wednesday included the opening of two community-based recovery centers — The Peer Alliance Recovery Center in Queens and The Odyssey House Recovery Oriented System in the Bronx- and new insurance regulations that, among other things, will allow consumers to appeal coverage denials for addiction medications.
The state is also moving to crack down on so-called “patient brokering,” where brokers collect payments from treatment providers in exchange for referring patients to those programs.
Under a new directive, such brokering services will only be undertaken by state-certified professionals and referral fees will be prohibited.
Additionally, the state awarded $300,000 to three providers to establish “Family Support Navigator” programs to help families in New York City and Long Island that are struggling with addiction to navigate insurance and treatment systems.
Odyssey House received $100,000 to establish a program in New York City while New Horizons Counseling Center and Family and Children’s Association each received $100,000 to open programs on Long Island.