BestSelf Receives $3.25 Million in Federal Grants to Combat Opioid Use

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The money will go to people who need help managing their addiction to prescription drugs and opioids; a group that has grown in numbers during the COVID pandemic.

BUFFALO, NY — U.S. Representative Brian Higgins (D) was at BestSelf Behavioral Health in Buffalo on Friday to announce $3.25 million in grants for the organization.

The money is intended to help provide 24/7 custodial care for people who need help dealing with addiction to prescription drugs and opioids; a group that has grown in numbers during the COVID pandemic.

“People haven’t been able to participate in their usual treatment regimens which involve coming into the office and having groups and lots of support,” said Elizabeth Woike-Ganga, president and CEO of BestSelf Behavioral Health.

“So we’ve had to be really creative about new ways to support and medication is an important first step in getting people on the road to recovery.”

The grants will also be used to get more help for the public. BestSelf says it will train community members to recognize mental health issues and teach first aid skills they can use to help.

“Mental health and addiction issues have only increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rep. Higgins said in a statement. “This federal funding will help BestSelf expand its treatment services and provide vital community education so Western New Yorkers can better identify these challenges in loved ones and provide the help that leads to healing.”

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein welcomed the investment.

“This investment of federal funds will improve access to drug treatments for substance use disorders,” she said. “We must continue to think creatively and work collaboratively to connect people to evidence-based treatment.

“This program represents another layer in our community’s opioid response infrastructure, where the Erie County Opioid Epidemic Task Force and dozens of health care agencies and partners are working. to address this urgent public health issue.”

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