New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez today announced that OASAS has launched a new veterans’ web page on the OASAS website that contains resources and information specifically for veterans, returning service members and their families struggling with addiction to alcohol and other substances.
“Far too many of our veterans, including those who have recently returned from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, are facing the very difficult issues of addiction to pain killers, alcohol and other substances,” said Commissioner González-Sánchez. “In observance of Veterans Day, OASAS is pleased to launch this new veterans’ web page filled with essential resources to assist veterans throughout the State.
The Web page provides: http://www.oasas.ny.gov/treatment/veteran/index.cfm•the new OASAS brochure entitled The Long Journey Home and the Need to Heal, to help veterans and their families recognize the complex issues many of them are facing and provide direction on how and where to seek help,
•a list of OASAS-certified treatment providers who have developed veteran-focused and specific services. These providers offer trauma-informed care in environments that embrace the military virtues of service and devotion to duty, and
•a newly created e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, which may be used to contact OASAS veterans services personnel directly.
OASAS has also implemented new protocols within its 24-hour, toll-free HOPEline (1-877-8-HOPENY) that require telephone operators and counselors to ask callers if they have ever served in the military and, if so, would they like to receive information on veterans-specific services offered through OASAS.
The HOPEline offers help, resources and referrals to callers seeking assistance with alcoholism, drug abuse or problem gambling. OASAS’ system is available to any New Yorker in need of treatment, including the State’s 1.1 million veterans and the estimated 80,000 who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“These new services and protocols will offer improved access to needed assistance for veterans, many of whom have brought the war home with them. Through these efforts, OASAS will be offering additional avenues for veterans and their families to access the right services at the right time,” said Suzanne Bissonette, executive director of the Buffalo-based Cazenovia Recovery Systems, Inc. which operates Liberty Hall, an 18-bed community house for veterans on the grounds of the Veterans Affairs’ Batavia Medical Center. “Improved access to treatment and services for veterans and their families is critical to promoting the hope that is so deserved by those who have fought for our country.”
OASAS oversees one of the nation’s largest addiction services systems with more than 1,600 prevention, treatment and recovery programs. OASAS treatment programs assist about 100,000 people on any given day and more than 240,000 individuals every year.