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Published on March 31, 2016

New program to help substance abusers in Broome County

A new initiative in Broome County will help people battling a drug addiction.

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston and other local leaders unveiled a new program called the "Sheriff Assisted Recovery Initiative."

The Sheriff's office has been working with the County Executive's office and members of the Broome Opioid Abuse Council for several months to get the program started.

"I always use the word team because to me, team has a special meaning, to me it says that together everyone accomplishes more," Broome County Executive Debbie Preston (R) said.

There are two ways that people will be able to seek help.

The first way is to go directly to the Sheriff's Office by calling 778-1911, extension 1. The other way is to be picked up by a member of the sheriff's office at home, free of charge.

The sheriff's office will then transport the person to either the Addiction Crisis Center on Court Street in Binghamton or United Health Services Hospitals (UHS) located on Mitchell Avenue in Binghamton.

A 12-step volunteer will also be available to help the person suffering from substance abuse, if desired.

"A long list of those folks are stepping up to assist in this recovery initiative, to assist people to be able to say I have been where you are, I will walk this walk with you and help you get started," UHS Administrative Director, Alan Wilmarth said.

"This was not something that we could start overnight," Broome County Sheriff, David Harder (R) said. "We wanted to make sure we had all of our bases covered before we launched this program."

The County Executive's Office says it's working with the state to add more treatment beds for patients.

The program will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.