NYS OASAS commences awareness campaign against addiction, substance use disorder

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The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) has commenced the new Campaign against addiction and substance use disorder.

The campaign which is designed to empower individuals impacted by addiction, will remind New Yorkers of the importance of social connections in the battle against substance abuse.

The campaign will encourage addicts to use their connections to friends, family members, health professionals, and other organizations, to find help and support in their treatment and recovery.

Part of the funding to support the campaign was awarded to New York State through the federal State Opioid Response grant.

“This extraordinarily difficult past year has taught us the importance of staying in touch with loved ones, friends and neighbors,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

He added, “The new ‘Connections’ campaign not only helps get the word out on lifesaving resources and services for New Yorkers who are battling addiction and substance use disorder, but is also a reminder that help is available to find a better and satisfying life.”

“While the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult in so many ways, it undoubtedly had a profound impact on how we interacted with our normal social support systems thereby creating debilitating isolation and disconnection from much needed resources and the people we love and associate with,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said.

“With this campaign, we want to encourage New Yorkers to uplift themselves and reclaim the power lost during this difficult time, and also to remind them that help is available to achieve a healthy life in sustained recovery from addiction.”

According to González-Sánchez, Campaign content will run online on social media and streaming audio. PSAs will also be seen on billboards, city buses, subways, and the Staten Island Ferry with messages addressing the importance of connections and personal well-being, in addition to focusing on opioid overdose prevention and the use of naloxone to save lives. New Yorkers are also encouraged to focus on the value of connections and how they help to foster the best outcomes for overcoming addiction and finding a better and satisfying life.

He noted that the ‘Connections’ campaign would raise awareness about the risks of overdoses due to the presence of fentanyl in other illicit substances. Fentanyl is a lethal opioid that has been detected in other illicit substances such as heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and ecstasy, which can result in overdoses and fatalities.

“The statewide campaign runs through the end of August.”

He added that individuals will be encouraged to visit the OASAS webpage for information about prevention, treatment and recovery services, and will also be directed to the NYS HOPEline, where they can receive help for themselves or someone else. Campaign materials are located on the public awareness section of the OASAS website.

“New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).

“Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, residential, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website,” he said.

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