Mobile Medication Units Will Allow People to Receive Medication for Addiction Treatment Outside of a Traditional Facility

MMUs are First of Their Kind Programs in New York State

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the award of $1.6 million to eight addiction services providers in New York State, which will allow them to establish Mobile Medication Units. These Units will dispense medication to treat substance use disorder, including methadone and buprenorphine, allowing people to receive these medications without the need to travel to a brick-and-mortar facility. These will be the first MMUs in New York State and were made possible by a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration rule change allowing them to be operated by existing Opioid Treatment Program Providers.

“Like far too many New Yorkers, my family has lost a loved one battling with addiction,” Governor Hochul said. “Physical distance or lack of transportation should never come between someone struggling with addiction and potentially lifesaving treatment. This first-of-its-kind program will break down barriers to resources for those seeking support and is a critical step in overcoming this public health crisis.”

Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said, “The lack of transportation or the distance from a treatment facility should not act as a barrier to receiving necessary care for addiction, including lifesaving medication such as methadone. These new mobile medication units will offer comprehensive addiction services and bring important help directly to individuals in need, giving them another avenue to receive important help in their recovery.”

MMUs are designed to help people who may face barriers to accessing traditional treatment, such as geographic proximity to an Opioid Treatment Facility, or the lack of reliable transportation. These mobile units will offer services that include admission assessments and medication induction, medication administration and observation, toxicology tests, and other medical services. They will supplement already existing mobile services throughout the state offered by various providers, including assessment, counseling, medications other than methadone for addiction treatment, telepractice, and transportation services.

Funding for these programs was provided to New York State through the Federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant and awarded through a competitive grant process administered by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports.

Representative Yvette Clarke said, “The crisis of addiction plaguing our communities will only end when we make the key investments needed to help those who are suffering from this dreadful disease. Fortunately, our state is taking the necessary steps to provide additional resources for recovery to those struggling with substance abuse. With Governor Hochul’s announcement of these transformative grants for Mobile Medication Units totaling $1.6 million, New York has once again reaffirmed its commitment to help alleviate the crisis our communities are facing with opioid addiction and other substance use disorders. As I have always said, if we invest in our communities, we invest in the future. Today’s funding announcement, coupled with the millions in community project funding, like the $17.7 million I secured for Brooklynites, sends a resounding clarion call that the future of New York is bright, indeed. I thank Governor Hochul for her advocacy on this serious issue, and I look forward to working with her administration in the years to come in our shared efforts to see New York shine.”

Representative Paul Tonko said, “At a moment when we are losing more than 100,000 Americans each year to overdose, we must take urgent and immediate action to combat the disease of addiction and provide hope to those struggling. I have led the fight in Congress to address this crisis and am proud of my work to fund the Federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program. I thank Governor Hochul for her leadership delivering addiction services directly to our New York communities and ensuring our loved ones and neighbors have the lifesaving support and treatment they need.”

The following providers are each receiving $200,000 in funding through this program:

Capital Region

  • PROMESA, Inc.

Central NY

  • Helio Health, Inc.

Finger Lakes

  • Strong Memorial Hospital

Mohawk Valley

  • Helio Health, Inc.

New York City

  • Vocational Instruction Project (VIP) Community Services, Inc.

North Country

  • Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions, Inc.

Southern Tier

  • Ithaca Alpha House Center Inc. DBA Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services

Western NY

  • BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc.

New York State has instituted an aggressive, multi-pronged approach to addressing the overdose epidemic, and created a nation-leading continuum of addiction care with full prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The State has worked to expand access to traditional services, including crisis services, inpatient, outpatient, and residential treatment programs, as well as medication to treat addiction, and mobile treatment and transportation services.

Governor Hochul was a member of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force, which in 2016, recommended new, non-traditional services, including recovery centers, youth clubhouses, expanded peer services, and open access centers, which provide immediate assessments and referrals to care. These services have since been established in numerous communities around the state and have helped people in need access care closer to where they live.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369). 

Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, residential, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website

If you, or a loved one, have experienced insurance obstacles related to treatment or need help filing an appeal for a denied claim, contact the CHAMP helpline by phone at 888-614-5400 or email at ombuds@oasas.ny.gov.