SUNY New Paltz is working closely with the regional community on active drug and alcohol prevention measures during the pandemic, a time when added stress and uncertainty can create additional struggle for those living with a substance use disorder.
“We are determined to provide hope and support to those facing the challenges caused by a substance use disorder,” said Jaclyn Cirello, the College’s prevention coordinator. “Despite the restriction’s caused by COVID-19, we want to still be able to provide resources and offer opportunities for people to connect during this time.”
The University Police Department and NP SAFE, the coalition at SUNY New Paltz focusing on alcohol/substance use prevention, have partnered with The New Paltz Opioid Prevention and Response Team, a dedicated group of local, county, regional and state service providers and organizations who are working together to address the needs of the community.
To help those struggling with an opioid use disorder and provide better access to services that are available to them despite COVID-19, the New Paltz Opioid Prevention & Response Team has launched a new website with the goal of reaching people virtually.
This website offers virtual Narcan trainings (online training videos, over-the-phone trainings and live Zoom trainings), free at-home medication disposal bags, treatment resources and recovery support.
Those who live in the New Paltz area and complete the virtual trainings and/or need at home medication disposal bags have the option of picking them up at specific community locations, having it mailed to them or having it dropped off at their home. The free at-home medication disposal bags were made available through the NYS OASAS (Office of Addiction Services and Supports) grant.
Individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder or entering their recovery journey during this time of physical and social distancing may find the process particularly challenging and lonely. There are many people in recovery and online resources available on the website to support them during this time, and beyond.
This partnership deepens relationships between the College and local support networks, thanks to support from the NP SAFE (Substance Awareness for Everyone) Coalition, an outgrowth of a state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services College Prevention grant that SUNY New Paltz received in 2017.