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WARRENSBURG  Hudson Headwaters Health Network will receive a $325,000 grant from the federal Health and Human Services Administration to expand treatment options for substance abuse and medication addiction.

The opioid issue is a very serious crisis, and primary care is effective in improving the health of all parts of a community,” said Dr. David Alloy, behavioral health director for Hudson Headwaters. “We are really quite thrilled to have the opportunity to work with people in the community on this issue.”

Hudson Headwaters does not currently provide direct substance abuse services, but the grant will allow it to help in that area.

Alloy and Hudson Headwaters CEO Dr. John Rugge said the grant will help Hudson Headwaters improve collaboration with area substance abuse treatment programs, including long-term medication-assisted treatment.

“Some patients need medication after recovery,” Alloy said, noting the grant will allow Hudson Headwaters to help with medication after patients have completed intensive treatment programs and are in recovery. “With us able to do that, it will open up spots in the treatment programs.”

The grant will also educate health providers to make informed prescribing decisions.

“It will help our own providers stay up to date on opioid guidelines,” Alloy said.

“Addiction and abuse of opioids, including both heroin and prescription pain medications, is a serious and increasing public health problem,” Rugge said in a press release. “Community health centers such as Hudson Headwaters have a role to play in addressing this issue.”

The award to Hudson Headwaters was part of $94 million in Affordable Care Act funding going to 271 health centers nationwide.

Alloy said that Hudson Headwaters’ behavioral health staff includes licensed social workers, psychologists, and psychiatric nurse practitioners.

Hudson Headwaters is a not-for-profit, community-based network of 17 health centers serving the Glens Falls region since 1981.

You can read Bill Toscano’s blog at poststar.com/blogs or his updates on Twitter, @billtoscano_ps.

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