SAMHSA grant to aide expansion of medication assisted treatment through Farnham Family Services to help combat the opioid epidemic

OSWEGO - Farnham Family Services, an agency dedicated to reducing and eliminating the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in Oswego County, is poised to expand its services and broaden its reach in Oswego County.

The agency has received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that provides Farnham with $525,000 per year for the next five years. The grant will allow Farnham to expand its Medication Assistance Treatment (MAT) and offer an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) at its Mexico clinic.

Established in 2017 Farnham’s Opioid Treatment Program offers residents of Oswego and neighboring counties a potentially life-saving opportunity.

According to figures from the National Center for Health Statistics, from April 2020 to April 2021 more than 100,000 Americans died of overdoses, up almost 30 percent from the 78,000 deaths in the previous year. Overdose deaths have more than doubled since 2015.

“Opioid substance use disorder and the related fatal overdoses is a nationwide epidemic, and Oswego County is no exception,” said Director of Farnham’s Opioid Treatment Program Mark Raymond. “Opioid use affects all walks of life. No one is immune to it. People with opioid substance use disorder need to be in treatment or face increased risk of fatal overdose and other related consequences. Over the past year Oswego County has seen an increase in opioid related overdoses and deaths. Since its inception our Opioid Treatment Program, as well as our outpatient program, have seen a gradual and steady increase in those accessing medication assisted treatment.”

“We are currently providing medication assisted treatment to approximately 400 patients diagnosed with opioid substance use disorder,” continued Raymond. “We know that opioid substance use disorder is the medical condition contributing to the majority of fatal overdoses. The patients in Farnham’s Opioid Treatment and Outpatient programs are able to receive the medications, therapy and other wrap-around services they need and are much less likely to die from an overdose. Being in these programs not only saves lives, it allows people to become healthier and more productive.”

Farnham Family Services OTP and Outpatient programs provide the medication buprenorphine plus naloxone i.e. suboxone, and individuals in the Opioid Treatment Program are also able to receive a therapeutic dose of Methadone. Both FDA-approved medications block the specific effects of illicit opioids that lead to opioid abuse and addiction, reduce and diminish the effects of cravings and withdrawal and allows individuals to function at a higher level and reduce the likelihood of fatal overdoses.

“Our Medication Assisted Treatment programs include competent and compassionate care from Farnham’s multi-disciplinary treatment team of physicians, nurses, therapists, Certified Peer Recovery Advocates, engagement staff and others providing essential services including individual and group therapy, peer services, case management, physical health, and mental health, which in addition to medication provide a dynamic and evidenced-based treatment for those seeking a path to recovery,” said Raymond.

The SAMHSA grant makes it possible for Farnham to expand its Medication Assisted Treatment services. The need to expand these services and make them more accessible to residents of Oswego County was one of the determining factors in Farnham receiving the grant.

“During the first phase of this grant the focus will be on our Mexico clinic,” said Raymond. “Bringing Medication Assisted Treatment and the Opioid Treatment Program to Mexico will make it much easier for those living in the eastern and northern part of the county to access our services. I anticipate we will be able to help hundreds of more people dealing with opioid use disorder. We know that patients in treatment are extremely less likely to die from an overdose, even if they are using. The expansion of our services in Mexico will have a tremendous, positive impact on Oswego and neighboring counties.”

For the second phase of the grant Farnham will work collaboratively with the Confidential Help for Drugs and Alcohol Center (CHAD) in Auburn to develop an Opioid Treatment Program in Cayuga County. “Because of our proximity we currently have patients coming to us from Cayuga County. Others must travel to Syracuse or Ithaca. Having an Opioid Treatment Program in Auburn will be a welcomed addition to Cayuga County,” said Raymond.

The final phase of the grant will focus on building and maintaining the programs so that they may become sustainable.

“Opioid Treatment Programs are specialized services governed by the federal government, state government, NYS OASAS, and the DEA,” said Raymond. “While OTPs are highly regulated, we have found these agencies and representatives effective at offering both accountability and support of our efforts. Our partners in Oswego County have been wonderful in their support as well. We appreciate the important role the courts, judges, DSS, other treatment providers and law enforcement agencies play in helping us provide these vital services to the people of Oswego County.”

“Farnham patients also deserve a word of recognition. They are kind, appreciative, resilient, and work very hard to be successful in their individual goals of recovery, despite having a complex medical condition, often faced with negative stigma and other challenging social determinants.”

“We are fortunate to have been awarded the SAMHSA grant,” added Raymond. “It’s a very competitive process. Receiving this grant is a testament to Farnham’s exceptional leadership and its ability to provide quality services.”

For the past 50 years Farnham Family Services has provided Oswego County with solutions to the problems created by substance abuse. SAMHSA grant allows Farnham not only continue, but enhance its mission of reducing and eliminating the abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

For more information on Farnham Family Services call 315-342-4489 or visit www.farnhaminc.org

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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