Mountainside Welcomes New Substance Use Legislation Across New York

Published on April 23, 2019
Mountainside Canaan Aerial Shot

Chappaqua, NY – Today, Mountainside Chappaqua hosted a press conference celebrating lifesaving substance abuse and mental health treatment provisions passed as part of the 2019 New York State Budget. Amy Sedgwick, Director of Clinical Operations at Mountainside, joined New York State senators Pete Harckham and Shelley B. Mayer and guests to highlight how the new provisions strengthen the accessibility and affordability of addiction and mental health treatment services for New Yorkers in need.

The provisions provide individuals receiving addiction treatment with greater opportunities to receive vital services by increasing the length of time in inpatient treatment from 14 to 28 days, prior to a concurrent review by insurance companies. Also included in the new provisions are Mental Health Parity, consolidation of co-pays for clients receiving outpatient treatment and aftercare, and the elimination of the “cap” on allowable annual hours.

“We at Mountainside applaud senators Harckham and Mayer for their efforts to strengthen the quality and availability of substance abuse and mental health treatment across the state,” said Sedgwick. “The importance of professional addiction treatment cannot be overstated, especially in the face of the opioid epidemic destroying families and communities across the nation.”

In 2017, there were 4,157 drug-related fatalities across the state. Westchester County has similarly felt the repercussions of the opioid crisis, as there were 111 overdose deaths throughout the region in 2017, according to the New York State Department of Health.

A major factor driving opioid overdose deaths across the state and the nation is fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that fentanyl was involved in 60 percent of opioid-related overdoses in 2017. Unchecked, the number of overdose deaths will only continue to grow.

“The more people we can get into treatment, the better. And keeping them in treatment longer is even better,” said Sedgwick. “We know from experience that the first two weeks a client spends in our care is focused on reducing anxiety levels and helping them acclimate to the recovery process. More time with clients is crucial, and these provisions are a promising step in the right direction.”