NEWBURGH – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, Sheriff Carl E. DuBois and District Attorney David Hoovler were in Newburgh on Thursday to recognize September as Recovery Month in Orange County.
The event was held at RECAP’s office in collaboration with Catholic Charities, HONOR and Cornerstone Family Healthcare. Darcie Miller, the County’s Commissioner of Mental Health, also spoke at recognition forum. Speakers described the impact mental and substance use disorders have on the community and discussed the epidemic growth of addiction to heroin and prescription opioids, and the critical role prevention, treatment, and support services play in an individual’s recovery and improved quality of life.
“Recovery Month provides an opportunity to highlight our efforts to raise awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues, as well as to provide information and assistance to those seeking treatment for substance abuse in Orange County,” Neuhaus said. “County government, in collaboration with our community partners, is doing all that we can to treat people who are addicted and help their loved ones as well. It’s the County’s goal to be a part of the solution to this problem.”
Neuhaus and the County Legislature have proclaimed September as Recovery Month in Orange County.
“It is a pleasure to support and participate in Recovery Month activities with our local non-profits,” Hoovler said. “Treatment and recovery happens every day in Orange County and is often a remedy for low-level, non-violent offenders. Working together with our non-profits and law enforcement remains a priority of my office in making our county safer and healthier.”
DuBois added: “I have seen the effects of addiction in my 40-plus years of law enforcement and judiciary. Now more than ever we all need to work together to prevent over-prescribing medications, promote treatment, and explore alternatives to effectively manage the opioid epidemic. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office continues to partner with all agencies to turn the tide.”
Recovery Month is a national observance sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to raise awareness of mental and/or substance use disorders. It celebrates individuals in long-term recovery, and acknowledges the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.
According to SAMHSA, among people aged 12 and older, 21.5 million people (8.1 percent) in the United States were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year. An estimated 100,000 people in Orange County are affected by issues of mental health and substance use, according to the Orange County Department of Mental Health.
“Orange County strives to collaborate with all provider systems to create opportunities for expanded access to care and hopeful experiences that lead to recovery, including medication assisted treatment when appropriate,” Miller said. “The work that we do and the opportunities that we create can save lives. That’s why it is so important to acknowledge the many millions of individuals embracing recovery each and every day. All of us in mental healthcare appreciate the support of County Executive and the Legislature.”
During Recovery Month, and every month, Orange County residents are reminded to encourage relatives and friends of people with mental and/or substance use disorders to implement preventive measures, recognize the signs of a problem, and guide those in need to appropriate treatment and recovery support services.
Information about mental health and/or substance use services is available from the following treatment providers:
Orange County Department of Mental Health, www.co.orange.ny.us (291-2600)
Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan, www.cccsos.org
Cornerstone Family Healthcare, www.cornerstonefamilyhealthcare.org