Onondaga County residents who are recovering from drug addiction often seek out a positive place of support in Syracuse to meet others who understand what they’re going through. Helio Health cut the ribbon Wednesday on its renovated and expanded Recovery Center on Hickory Street.
President and CEO Jeremy Klemanski says the space will be open six days a week.
“We’ve opened this facility to provide supports for people who are more stable in treatment and just need a place to work on a resume, a place to have a support group meeting, a place to do an art class or a yoga class; just to help maintain their health… help to try to connect with people who know what they’re going through and try to prevent relapse, when possible.”
Helio offers inpatient and outpatient services at other facilities. A key part of recovery of getting people off opiates or heroin are specialized medications. Klemanski says government support at the state and federal level has allowed the organization to hire more prescribers.
“What we’re seeing lawmakers look at now and pivot to a little bit is… 'ok, if we’re making it easier… how do we make it easier for the people doing the work… to do the work?' Artificial limitations on how they can prescribe to whom, where you can get your medications. Different things are being looked at, at the policy level that we’re kind of encouraged by.”
In 2019, the organization has treated nearly seven thousand people through July. Klemanski says cases range from opiates, users of multiple substances and alcohol abuse. Syracuse City Court Judge Rory McMahon searches for the underlying causes of why people turn to drugs to deal with some kind of pain.
“… and as a judge, you have to keep that in mind that… they got here for a reason, just treating the drugs isn't the problem. What’s the underlying pain or crisis they’re in that we also have to address. Is it mental health? Do they need services in other areas. We have to look at the big picture.”
Anyone who needs assistance with recovering from drug use can seek out Helio’s Regional Open Access Center in Syracuse. It’s open 24/7. Their number is 315-471-1564.