Independent Perspective #1664
Guest: Naomi Taylor
Topic: State Opioid Response
Published: September 21, 2021
Published: September 2, 2021 Host: Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Naomi Taylor, Recovery Peer Services Coordinator at Independent Living of Niagara County (ILNC), and your host is yours truly Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program, Naomi.
Guest: Thanks for having me, Ernie.
Host: You're here because there's an exciting new development coming about in the work between the Niagara Falls center and headquarters in Buffalo, and you're pretty much running the shop for this. And to get people a grounding, Erie County has had Addict 2 Addict, Family 2 Family Program for some time, could you tell our listeners what that is for?
Guest: Sure. Addicts 2 Addict, Family 2 Family in Erie County has been established underneath the OASAS funding, and we help support people who are suffering from substance use disorder, and their family members. From the success that we've seen through that program, we have gotten additional funding to be able to provide more support to the rural areas with additional peers.
Host: And for the benefit of listeners that don't do rehabilitation speak, could you tell them what OASAS stands for?
Guest: Yes, that is the Office of Addiction Services through New York State (New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports).
Host: Terrific. And the program that you're talking about that spans the two cities is SOR, what is that?
Guest: Sure. SOR stands for the State Opioid Response. Through COVID we have seen the overdose death rates and the overdose rates, go back to what they were, say, five years ago. And the state and the government is seeing how much additional support is needed from the peers, and we're thankful enough to be able to have the opportunity to utilize the additional grants and the funding to be able to better support people.
It's always nice to have the support of a state entity that's willing to provide some funds for additional staff and that. Who all is going to be hired as part of the SOR effort?
Guest: So, through the SOR, or the SOR Project we're going to have four new peers hired, two of them are going to be Addict 2 Addict, and two of them are going to be Family 2 Family. They're all going to be located in the rural areas where we're seeing the most amount of or the highest need for support.
Host: Matter of fact, it is not all that long ago that ILNC had the Lockport’s Overdose Awareness Day activities, does this connect up with that in some way?
Guest: It sure does. Because of the huge amount of effort that the Addict 2 Addicts peers in Niagara have put into the city of Lockport, we've been able to take those connections and use them for the new peers coming in. There has been such an uptick of people that are reaching out for support for Addict 2 Addict, that that additional peer will be able to come in and help to grow the program.
Host: Do you have a target date for when everybody should be in place do you think?
Guest: We're looking at October 4, as the start date. We already have one peer that has started through Erie, and we have two more they're coming on board October 4, with the final Family 2 Family peer to be hired shortly.
Host: I'm sure that people that want to get services from the program or interested in what you do will have questions, how can they contact you?
Guest: Sure, so we can be contacted through our hotline phone numbers. And as well through my email, and the phone number here at ILNC. The phone number that I can be reached at is 284-4131 extension 205.
Host: Thanks so much for being with us, Naomi.
Guest: Thank you, Ernie, I appreciate the time.
Host: You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today was Naomi Taylor, Recovery Peer Services Coordinator at ILNC. I've been your host, Ernie Churchwell.