SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Senator Chuck Schumer visited Helio Health in Syracuse Monday to unveil his plan to expand funding to fight the opioid epidemic in the next federal budget.
He picked Syracuse because Onondaga County set back-to-back records for the number of people who died in a year: 186 in 2021. It beat the old record of 156 deaths set in 2020.
Schumer said, “The data shows that Syracuse and Central New York are on the front line of the opioid scourge, and today’s push is to supercharge the funds that can have a meaningful impact saving lives.”
The money is broken down into three categories: prevention, treatment and recovery.
The Senate Majority Leader is pushing for $3.2 billion-dollars in the federal budget for agencies who support the National Drug Control Strategy. The money will get routed to the State of New York or direct to agencies like Helio Health.
Helio Health, the 24-hour regional addiction treatment center, could use the money. It’s expanding its services to increase capacity.
While many organizations have a waiting list, the CEO of Helio Health says his agency hasn’t turned anyone away.