Opioid addiction is a rising epidemic in NY State. In Steuben County, the increase in opioid addiction has gone up 500% since 2008. At the Steuben County Jail, we have seen the increases in addiction contributing to the destruction of both lives and families and creating a financial burden due to necessary medical treatment and increased rates of recidivism in addicts. In response to this crisis, Steuben County Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (SCASAS), Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, and Catholic Charities of Steuben are working together on a treatment program for incarcerated person’s in the Steuben County Jail and for individuals involved with Steuben County Probation Pre-Trial Release program and Drug Courts. The grant will focus on providing certified peer services in jail, expansion of HCBS Peer Services, recovery coordination, and will facilitate a mobile recovery center in an effort to continue to build this program and encourage treatment after release from incarceration.
Due to the limited public transportation and resources in our rural county, many individuals struggling with opioid addiction do not have the means to get to treatment. Recognizing this need, we purchased a van that can be used as a mobile office allowing us to go into the most rural areas of our county and provide mobile assessments and help connect individuals with peer services that are critical in helping individuals struggling with opioid addiction. This mobile recovery unit will allow us to provide the following services in the community at the time of contact:
- The Mobile Unit becomes the starting point for a Recovery Center. The Recovery Center is wherever a space becomes available i.e. church, community building, nonprofit, library, and so forth. Given the size of Steuben this will help to provide consistent ongoing support throughout the county.
- Help with developing a plan of care
- Help accessing food, shelter and other emergency and basic needs
- Linkages and system navigation to behavioral health and health care services and substance abuse detox, treatment, and home and community based services
- Outreach and engagement support
- Assistance with removal of barriers towards recovery pathways
- Relapse prevention planning including pre-crisis and crisis support key to preventing recidivism
- Support and direction to activities that bring a sense of purpose, passion, and meaning to life
- Coaching and Modeling of successful recovery lifestyles
- Connecting individuals to “warm lines” (telephone support) and self-help groups
- Recovery education
- Comprehensive goal planning
- Independent living skills development
- Transitional supports
Each color used on the van was carefully selected to represent Addiction Recovery Awareness (teal) and Overdose Awareness (purple) in memory of those we have lost to this terrible disease and honoring those who are still sick and suffering.
Those individuals seeking help for themselves or a loved one can connect with support in several ways:
- Join the COTI Mobile Recovery Unit Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/694481231325068/?source_id=210382392317450
- Weekly recovery meetings via Zoom every Wednesdays at 7 PM
- COTI Mobile Recovery Unity phone – 607-368-9337
- For additional questions or information, contact Trinity Cowburn, MA, MAC, CASAC – Program Director – 607-968-4717 Trinity.Cowburn@DOR.org