Wellness Center for justice system impacted opioid users launches in Brooklyn

Legal professionals gain new resource for justice-impacted opioid users

August 1, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Aug. 3 will see a significant step forward in the treatment of opioid users affected by the justice system. The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) plans to open its new Wellness Center at 25 Chapel St. in Downtown Brooklyn, providing a holistic approach to opioid treatment.

The occasion will be marked by a gathering of government, public health and community leaders, celebrating the first integrated opioid treatment program in New York. The center stands as a testament to the mission of the CCA: empowering those affected by mass incarceration, criminalization, and community disinvestment.

The opioid crisis continues to claim lives at an alarming rate in New York. The CCA’s Wellness Center, an extension of its longstanding commitment to harm-reduction services for active substance users, aims to counter this growing problem with an expansive, effective approach to treatment.

The Wellness Center will offer a range of services, including medication-assisted and opioid treatment, mental health counseling, court advocacy, health education and employment support. All of these services will be provided by a dedicated team of medical professionals and peers, lending their expertise and personal experiences to the cause.

The opioid crisis has seen a sustained increase in opioid-related overdose emergencies and deaths since the start of the pandemic, as reported by the Department of Health. A significant number of opioid users find themselves involved in the justice system, facing an increased risk of overdose upon release due to reduced tolerance levels. Medication-assisted treatment can dramatically reduce this risk.

In the face of an opioid crisis that saw 2,686 drug overdose deaths in 2021 alone, the CCA is taking decisive action. The Wellness Center aims to apply harm reduction principles, helping individuals reach personal, prosocial goals. The center will also offer medicine for opioid use disorder as part of a holistic wellness plan, incorporating treatments like methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone that have been shown to reduce opioid use and related symptoms.

With the launch of the Wellness Center, the CCA is making a clear statement: It is committed to helping those impacted by the opioid crisis and the justice system. Its goal is not only to reduce harm, but also to help individuals on their journey to recovery and societal reintegration.


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