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Garnar: Columbia University partnership a ‘major step’ in opioid fight

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Columbia University will be working in 15 pre-selected New York counties that have been heavily affected by the opioid crisis and Broome County is one of them.

According to Broome County Executive Jason Garnar’s office, the National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) is allocating $68 million to Columbia University and three other research sites that will contribute to a multi-year study.

Officials say the study is being carried out in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which provides support for local prevention, treatment, and recovery support services to be studied.

Garnar says as part of the study, Broome County will receive approximately $2 million over the next four years to implement a collaborative, evidenced-based “Opioid Use Disorder” treatment model.

“This is a major step in our efforts in Broome County as we are in the fight of our lives with the opioid epidemic,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “We are ALL working together in Broome County with a common goal: to save lives. Our Mental Health department, Health Department, Sheriff and our treatment providers made securing this funding a priority and this award will make a difference as we fight to end this epidemic plaguing our community.”

The first phase of the project is scheduled to begin later this spring.

Nicky Hickling

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