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Mayor Adams Announces Allocation on new Opioid Settlement Funds to Staten Island to Expand Lifesaving Care

December 6, 2023

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With $12 Million in New Funding Over Next Four Years, City Will Invest in Staten Island-Based Organizations to Support Addiction Treatment and Prevention

Delivers on Mayor Adams’ Promise to Ensure Staten Island Receives Resources to Combat Opioid Epidemic

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced an additional $12 million to combat the opioid epidemic as part of funds secured by New York Attorney General Letitia James from settlements reached in her numerous lawsuits against different manufacturers and distributors of opioids. The funds will go exclusively to Staten Island-based organizations that provide a range of intervention services, including treatment, outreach, and harm reduction, as well as to housing and employment assistance. Over the coming months, the city will work closely with stakeholders and local leaders to ensure funds are distributed fairly, equitably, and efficiently to organizations across the borough, delivering on Mayor Adams’ promise to help Staten Island residents combat the opioid epidemic.

“The opioid epidemic is a crisis that impacts every corner of our city, tearing apart too many families and too many communities,” said Mayor Adams. “With this additional funding for Staten Island, we will confront this crisis head-on by expanding treatment to increasing support for social services to help our communities recover and thrive. These efforts will save countless lives. I thank Attorney General James for her partnership and support in fighting to end the opioid crisis in New York.”

“The opioid epidemic has ravaged families and communities on Staten Island and across all of New York,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “Today’s disbursement of funds from my office’s $2.6 billion opioid settlements will go directly towards treatment, prevention, and education efforts on Staten Island and to help New Yorkers recover and heal. I thank Mayor Adams for delivering on his promise to help Staten Island tackle the opioid epidemic and ensure our communities have the care they need and deserve.”

“The opioid overdose epidemic remains one of the biggest public health crises of our time,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “The investments announced today will bring resources and support to those struggling with substance use issues through outreach, harm reduction, housing, employment assistance, and other services provided through local organizations on Staten Island. We look forward to working with stakeholders in the coming months and years to see these funds achieve the greatest impact possible.”

“As overdose deaths continue to break records, we must do everything we can to support our communities,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Expanding both the volume and accessibility of services for people most at risk of an overdose is an important component of improving the health of our city. I look forward to working with providers on the ground to expand these critical services for Staten Island.”

“Staten Island faces a high proportion of overdose deaths, and we are working to get everyone their fair share," said DOHMH Executive Deputy Commissioner Deepa Avula. “As both a resident and public health official, I'm glad to support this additional funding to help meet this important need for the borough.”

Last year alone, 3,026 New Yorkers died of a drug overdose, a 12 percent increase from 2021, with Staten Island accounting for 5 percent of all overdose deaths citywide and the city’s second highest overdose rate. Neighborhoods such as Port Richmond and Stapleton-St. George reported overdose rates far above the citywide average, with the sixth and 13th highest rates in the city.

These investments will help New York City expand and build upon initiatives that save lives and provide access to treatment and other services, including the Adams administration’s mental health agenda, which outlines how the city will expand access to high-quality harm reduction services and sets a goal of reducing overdose deaths by 15 percent by 2025; as well as the city’s plan to extend the average lifespan of New Yorkers through HealthyNYC, which seeks to reduce overdose deaths by 25 percent by 2030. New York City had the deadliest year on record for overdose deaths in 2022, with racial and geographic disparities continuing to worsen — reflecting trends of the national crisis.

“I am proud that on Staten Island we were able to work with our partners in government to secure funds aimed at addressing the opioid crisis in our community,” said New York State Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton. “This announcement of an additional $12 million to combat the opioid epidemic and expand life-saving care for Staten Islanders is a crucial step forward. It reflects a commitment to tackling this crisis head-on, providing much-needed resources, support, and treatment options for those in need. I am glad that this funding is now set to bring tangible relief and assistance to my constituents afflicted by addiction, presenting our community with the tools to overcome its longstanding opioid crisis.” 

“I am immensely grateful to Mayor Adams and Attorney General Letitia James for securing an additional $12 million to combat the opioid epidemic on Staten Island,” said New York State Assemblymember Charles D. Fall. “This critical funding will bolster our efforts to provide lifesaving care and support to those affected by this crisis. It’s a significant step towards healing our community and addressing the urgent needs of Staten Islanders grappling with opioid addiction. This investment will be instrumental in saving lives and highlights our unwavering commitment to tackling this epidemic with effective, compassionate solutions. I look forward to collaborating closely with the city and local organizations to ensure these funds are utilized effectively and equitably, bringing tangible help to our community.”

“In April, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mayor Adams at Gracie Mansion, alongside my elected colleagues, and explained this funding inequity to him,” said New York State Assemblymember Sam Pirozzolo. “His immediate willingness to address this situation is what allowed me to work with his administration to reach the agreement announced today.  I thank the mayor and my elected colleagues for their dedication and am proud to stand beside them as this lifesaving funding is allocated exclusively to Staten Islanders. Our providers are dedicated professionals who love Staten Island and its people. This funding allows those deeply invested in our community to deliver the services and resources they know are effective, at a time when Staten Islanders need them the most. My heartfelt appreciation goes to the providers for their commitment to their clients and steadfast advocacy.”

“Thank you to Mayor Adams and Attorney General James for securing $12 million in lifesaving care for those struggling with opioid addiction,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “It is especially important that this funding allotment is for Staten Island, which has the second highest rate of opioid overdose deaths of any borough. I am deeply committed to working with Mayor Adams to turn this situation around for the people of Staten Island. We will support opioid intervention services including treatment, outreach, and assistance with housing and employment for those harmed by this deadly drug. We can and will save the lives of all our loved ones struggling with opioids.”

“The opioid epidemic is among one of the most devastating things to happen to our community,” said New York State Assemblymember Michael Reilly. “I sincerely want to thank Mayor Adams and his administration for working with a myriad of Staten Island stakeholders to bring these crucial opioid settlement funds back to this community.  On a matter as important as this, I am pleased that Staten Island is the forgotten borough no more.”

“During my time as a prosecutor both in the Bronx and on Staten Island, I observed first-hand the destruction that the opioid epidemic brought upon individuals and families in our community,” said New York State Assemblymember Michael Tannousis. “With that being said, I’m ecstatic for the additional $12 million funding that will be utilized to save lives and protect our community.”

“These long-awaited funds will provide Staten Islanders with much-needed programs to combat the opioid crisis that has disproportionately affected our borough,” said Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella. “We thank Mayor Adams and DOHMH Commissioner Vasan for their insight and deep sense of equity.”

“I thank Mayor Adams and Attorney General James for ensuring Staten Island receives its fair share of this lifesaving funding,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon. “For nearly a year, I have urged NYC Health and Hospitals not to exclude Staten Island from its initial disbursement of these funds, have written Op-Eds to highlight the omission of our borough, and have personally lobbied City Hall and the Attorney General. The drug crisis fueled by fentanyl is raging on Staten Island and is the most severe and life-threatening of the struggles we face, killing more of our neighbors last year than ever before. I am relieved that thanks to the unified advocacy of the Staten Island elected delegation, our treatment and recovery providers, and most of all, the voices of those whose lives have been forever changed by addiction and overdose, that Staten Island will finally receive our due share of the opioid settlement funds secured by Attorney General Letitia James and Mayor Eric Adams. These vital funds will directly save lives, and my office is committed to continuing our work to divert those battling addiction illness out of the courtroom and into meaningful treatment with the providers receiving funds here today. Thank you, Mayor Adams and Attorney General James.”

“Too many families across Staten Island have been devastated by opioids, with overdose deaths in our borough more than doubling over the past decade,” said New York City Councilmember Joseph Borelli. “I am pleased the mayor has made a commitment to allocating more funding to our local organizations that provide lifesaving services and treatment, which are needed now more than ever to help us tackle this deadly epidemic."

“I applaud Mayor Adams for prioritizing Staten Island's well-being and providing an additional $12 million in opioid settlement funds,” said New York City Councilmember Kamillah Hanks. “This commitment aligns with the mayor’s promise to equip Staten Island with the resources essential to combat the opioid epidemic successfully.”

“A New Yorker dies every 2 hours from an overdose. Our mayor, Eric Adams, has just announced a significant commitment of resources to battle the Opioid/Overdose epidemic and we are very grateful,” said Joseph Conte, PhD, CPHQ, executive director, Staten Island Performing Provider System. “Staten Island families and providers know that we can count on Mayor Adams, Commissioner Vasan, and Dr. Katz to support our efforts to end this scourge. The SI PPS has reduced overdose deaths by 80% with our Hotspotting Program and look forward to sharing the protocol with other organizations.”

"The Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness and members of the TYSA coalition appreciate Mayor Adams' response to our collective plea for dedicated funds to support the borough’s substance use disorder needs," said Adrienne Abbate, executive director, Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness. "The opioid epidemic has been devastating to our community and to have settlement funds bypass the borough was inequitable and unacceptable. We hope this announcement is the first part of an ongoing commitment from the city to properly fund services across the continuum including prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery utilizing opioid settlement fund dollars.”

“We are blessed to have the commitment of Mayor Adam to include Staten Island in the distribution of Opioid Settlement Funds," said Rev. Dr. Terry Troia, president and CEO, Project Hospitality.  "The most impoverished communities on our island bear the burden of fentanyl overdoses, experience early and unnecessary deaths and do not have the ability to access lifesaving harm reduction and treatment services.  The mayor has made good on his promise to make right the exclusion of Staten Island.  Mayor Adams' actions today will save the lives of Staten Islanders. For that we are deeply grateful.”