Avi Israel/ WBEN Photo-Matt Moran

Major funding in battle against heroin and opioids

Lawmakers announce $425,000 in state money for local agency

April 09, 2018 - 9:22 pm

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The Western New York Delegation to the State Senate will be committing $425,000 to Save The Michaels of The World, a local organization that has been fighting the battle against the opioid epidemic. Senators Chris Jacobs, Robert Ortt and Tim Kennedy made the announcement during a press briefing Monday.

Senator Kennedy said this is an issue that has hit so many.  "I have shed tears with many of mine friends who have lost their sons and daughters to this epidemic," Kennedy said. "Each any every time we continue to say if we only knew. If we only could have done a little bit more. Now we are taking action."

Avi Israel, Founder and President of Save The Michaels of The World, says his group provides everything when it comes to recovery from addiction.  "When you come here," Israel said, "You become a part of a family."

That family includes volunteers like Joan Dlugokinski, who's son is currently in treatment for addiction. "When my son first made me aware he was addicted to opioids," Dlugokinski said. "I didn't know where to turn. I didn't feel like there was a person I could talk to. Not a phone number I could call, and for this money to be here to spread the word that Save The Michaels is here for those families and individuals is so utterly important."

The funding is part of a record level $247 Million secured by senate to support education, prevention, treatment and recovery services.

Save the Michaels provides individuals who are addicted wrap-around care during and after treatment and recovery, and offers a nurturing and supportive environment to families throughout the process.  As the organization expands its reach and services, it intends to use the funding to hire full-time recovery coaches and provide placement support to drug courts in seven Western New York counties.  Public education, family member training and recovery support activities will also be enhanced with the funding. 


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