Substance (Ab)use is a pattern of behaviors that display many adverse results from continual use of a substance. Substance Dependence is a group of physiological symptoms that indicate the continual, compulsive use of a substance in self-administered doses despite the problems related to the use of the substance. The characteristics of Abuse are a failure to carry out obligations at home or work, continual use under circumstances that present a hazard, such as, driving a car and legal problems, such as an arrest. Use of the drug is persistent despite personal problems caused by the effects of the substance on the self or others.
There are an estimated 221,048 individuals living on Long Island, who are active substance users in need of treatment (New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, 2008). Over 13,000 of these individuals use opiates, according to a study focused on heroin use (OASAS, 2008). Many of these people are at an elevated risk for HIV and Hepatitis infection/transmission.
LIAAC's needs assessment has revealed that a measurable epidemic of injection drug use/substance use with consequences has taken hold on Long Island. 3,058 individuals on Long Island have reportedly become infected with HIV through IDU (New York State Department of Health, 2007). Almost 40% HIV/AIDS cases on Long Island are associated with IDU behaviors. Long Island faces 7,875 documented AIDS cases (NYS DOH, 2007), nearly evenly divided between the two counties of Nassau and Suffolk.
The LIAAC Hotline serves as the entry point for all LIAAC direct services and prevention initiatives to ensure that clients and community members are directly linked to a wide range of health-related services. Our highly trained staff will assess the client's needs and link them to appropriate, effective services including: case management, primary health care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, vocational programs, entitlement programs and nutrition programs, as well as coordinate such services across a variety of settings to ensure a continuum of comprehensive care. If the client is appropriate for case management services, these services are available on a short-term or long-term basis.
The case managed client that has substance abuse issues will benefit from this extensive network of resources. The primary goal of our short-term case management program, Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services (CRCS), is to help HIV negative persons who are at high risk for HIV transmission or acquisition to reduce risk behaviors and address the psychosocial and medical needs that contribute to risk behavior or poor health outcomes. LIAAC provides this short-term case management program for people in need of substance abuse treatment and will assist to fast track clients into drug treatment centers or detoxification facilities.
In addition, LIAAC's outreach initiatives identify individuals most at risk for HIV and then conduct substance abuse risk assessments to link clients to appropriate and effective services. LIAAC also provides substance abuse and HIV educational programs in the community to at risk individuals, students and health professionals. Education is provided in various settings across Long Island such as schools, sober houses, treatment facilities, and hospitals
Knowing when to seek treatment for substance abuse issues is important for both individuals and families that suspect a problem. It is important to pursue treatment as soon as possible. Individuals seeking assistance can call our toll free number for information regarding Substance Abuse Treatment.
For more information, please contact our hotline at 1.877.TO.LIAAC