Ribbon cutting for new mobile opioid treatment program

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jan 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-23 19:03:15-05

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein helped cut the ribbon on a new, first-of-its kind program for Erie and Niagara Counties that will see converted RV's used to provide addiction treatment.

"Recovery Connections" was created by BestSelf Behavioral Health with $1.7 million that was allocated by New York State from federal funding to help fight the opioid epidemic.

The converted RV's have been turned into fully functioning clinics with a waiting area, lab and examination room.  Plans are in the works to install tele-medicine capabilities so a prescriber at an office can prescribe medically assisted treatment to help break an addiction.

According to BestSelf, the vehicles will be deployed to prisons, community centers and libraries to provide addiction treatment access to people who aren't able to get to traditional office-based treatment programs.

The other big advantage of the program is the vehicles can be sent to very rural parts of Erie and Niagara Counties.

A team of support personnel also go along.  The team is comprised of a registered nurse, substance use disorder counselors and peer advocates.

7 Eyewitness New Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his reports about this new program.  He also talks with a peer advocate who is now excited to offer "hope" to others after battling a 20-year serious drug addiction herself.