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Mangano Helps Fight Addiction, Announces 70 Open Spots In Nassau’s Drug Treatment Program

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that Nassau County’s nationally recognized and accredited Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) has 70 spots available to accommodate individuals seeking help with drug addiction. Presently, the program treats 580 clients per month at the state-licensed outpatient clinic. The 70 available spots come at no extra expense to Nassau County’s budget. Nassau County’s program recently earned the highest level of certification for meeting high performance standards

“Nassau County is working tirelessly to help residents overcome drug addiction through our Opioid Treatment Program,” stated County Executive Mangano. “Prescription drugs or “painkillers” have surpassed Heroin as the substance with the highest number of drug-related deaths in Nassau County, as well as in the highest cause for admission to local drug treatment programs.”

Nassau County’s OTP offers two treatment tracks, a Methadone Maintenance track and a Suboxone treatment track. Clients are screened upon admission for appropriate placement. Program admission is based upon the client meeting the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) imposed admission criteria, which includes:

  • Clients applying for admission do so voluntarily.
  • Clients under the age of 18 may be considered ONLY with Parental/legal guardian consent.
  • Clients under the age of 18 must have a minimum of two documented treatments service attempts at chemical dependence withdrawal or stabilization service or inpatient service to be eligible for treatment/admission.
  • Opioid addiction has been present for a minimum of one year.

The last two criteria listed exist to assure that non-medication assisted treatment alternatives have already been utilized.

To address the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse, County Executive Mangano created the Nassau County Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Prevention Task Force, focused on raising awareness of the dangers of prescription drug addiction, by educating the doctors who prescribe these painkillers and the pharmacists who fill the prescriptions, on how to identify the signs of addiction and stay safe and secure in their pharmacy.

In addition, the County’s Drug Abuse Task Force has taken the initiative to educate the public. Programs like OTP have become an important and successful staple in educating recovering addicts about the effects of their actions not only on themselves but their loved ones as well.

The OTP opened its doors in the early 1970’s, treating clients addicted to heroin. At that time the program had a licensed capacity to treat approximately 50 heroin addicted clients. Today, the program’s licensed capacity has grown to 650, and treats clients with a range of opioid addictions. In addition to being licensed as an Opioid Treatment Program, the program is also certified by the NYS Department of Health as an Article 28 facility, which allows for the provision of primary medical care treatment for clients served.

The treatment staff at the OTP includes a full-time medical director, nurse practitioner, and a clinic psychiatrist. Dr. James Dolan, the Director of the Nassau County Office of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities Services, noted that the program also supports Continuous Quality Improvement initiatives designed to assist clients with: treatment compliance, the attainment of treatment goals, reducing multi-substance abuse, transitioning from incarceration, treatment during pregnancy, and Hepatitis C treatment.