A new internet tool can now help quickly connect New Yorkers struggling with alcohol and drug addiction to the proper care, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday.
Recently upgraded, the OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard application provides access to any service offered by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, according to Cuomo, who said such services include crisis care, residential assistance, inpatient care and outpatient and opioid treatment programs.
The OASAS platform, which can be accessed on a laptop or personal computer as well as a smartphone, allows anyone – including treatment providers, care coordinators and health insurance professionals – to find a treatment facility bed and any number of other services across the state in real time, Cuomo said.
"Addiction is a disease that knows no bounds and we must make sure New Yorkers seeking help know where they can find it," the governor said. "With this expanded online resource, those in need will now be able to access up-to-date, localized information on the resources available to help them on their journey to recovery."
The new application can be accessed here . According to Cuomo, its search feature provides service information based on such factors as proximity, gender and age of the patient. Those using the system are also given the telephone number of each program returned by the search.
Even with the search results firmly in hand, patients are urged to call the facility in advance to confirm availability, Cuomo said.
"OASAS remains dedicated to improving access to addiction treatment services,” said OASAS Commissioner, Arlene González-Sánchez. “I'm excited about this new tool and encourage all New Yorkers in need to use it."
Margaret Miller, the state’s chief information officer, said New York is using OASAS and other “innovative technology solutions” to improve its services.
“The OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard is a great example of our continued commitment to implement tools that better respond to the needs of New York’s citizens,” Miller said. “The dashboard greatly improves the ability of New Yorkers to find addiction treatment services in real time, at any location, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
The expansion of the OASAS Dashboard comes as the region continues to battle an opioid epidemic . According to Cuomo, the state has taken many steps toward curbing the problem, including opening new treatment programs in cities such as Albany, Buffalo, Peekskill, Syracuse, Rome and Watertown.
Anyone struggling with substance abuse is urged to call the 24-hour HOPEline at 1-877-8- HOPENY (1-800-846-7369) or by texting “HOPENY” to 467369.