The Staten Island Regional Substance Use Network (SI Network) is aiming to use State opioid response (SOR) funding to support and implement a multi-organizational substance use disorder services initiative in the borough of Staten Island. The vision is for agencies across the prevention, treatment, and recovery continuum to function as collaborators to collectively address gaps in the continuum of services in addressing opioid use disorder and stimulants.
Staten Island (SI) has received national attention as an epicenter of the opioid epidemic. Along with the Bronx, SI has routinely been one of the two NYC boroughs with the highest rates of fatal overdoses, many of which are attributable to opioids. According to the EpiData Briefs series on fatal overdoses published annually by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in 2019, fentanyl, along with heroin and cocaine, were each individually implicated in over 50% of fatal overdoses citywide, which strongly suggests poly-substance use and that fentanyl has been mixed into cocaine, heroin, and other illicit substances. There were a total of 105 overdose deaths on SI in 2019, and fentanyl was involved in 70% of those fatal overdoses, heroin in 58%, and cocaine in 48%.
By 2019, the overdose death rate among SI residents had decreased from its highest point in 2016, dropping from 32.7 to 28.1 per 100,000 residents. Yet, it remains significantly higher than the NYC rate of 21.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2019.
The focus across all services will be integration and communication, and intentional efforts to close gaps across the continuum.
- Address gaps in prevention services by expanding family services and community initiatives
- strengthen existing relationships with law enforcement and criminal justice partners to better align a continuum of services that supports individuals transitioning from incarceration into the community
- establish relationships with grassroots organizations that serve Black, Latinx and other people of color in Staten Island to build trust and determine strategies to strengthen services for these populations
- enhance infrastructure for housing navigation and placement with a focus on undocumented immigrants and others that require additional support
- Improve treatment system collaboration and provide evidence based treatment
- Integrate and support a peer workforce
- Expand and enhance services for youth and young adult prevention, treatment, and recovery services
- Expand access to medication assisted treatment and harm reduction approach to overdose prevention and engagement
- Connection to services for high risk and hard to reach populations
- Expand access to meet social determinants of health needs such as food, housing, employment etc.