October 23, 2018

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce $550,000 To Help Veterans Suffering From Opioid Addiction In Monroe County

Federal Funding Will Be Used To Expand Monroe County’s Veterans Treatment Court to Combat the Opioid Epidemic Among Veterans

Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $550,000 in federal funding for Monroe County. The funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program and will be used specifically to expand the Monroe County Veterans Treatment Court.

Monroe County has experienced an increase in the number of veterans entering into the justice system because of addiction. The Monroe County Veterans Treatment Court provides rehabilitation and treatment services for nonviolent drug offenders as an alternative to incarceration. With this federal investment, the county will be able to hire a case manager, a nurse practitioner, and a VA benefits manager to better serve veterans who end up in the treatment court, expand the reach of the program, and evaluate the program’s effectiveness.

“The opioid and heroin abuse crisis in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region is a symptom of this national emergency, and we need to fight back now. With this vital funding, Monroe County can expand the services provided by the Monroe County Veterans Treatment, and continue the hard work of helping our veterans, who sacrificed so greatly to protect our most sacred freedoms, recover from opioid addiction,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud to announce this funding and will continue to work to help ensure that Upstate New York communities have the resources they need to make a difference in this fight.”

“Too many selfless and brave veterans who risked their lives in our military are now fighting against opioid addiction here at home. We need to make sure they have every resource available to overcome this crisis,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal funds are great news for Monroe County and the entire Rochester community, and they will help ensure that the Veterans Treatment Court is able to provide our veterans with the treatment and services they need. I will always fight in the Senate to support our veterans, and I will continue doing everything in my power to help end the opioid crisis once and for all.”

"The Veterans Treatment Court helps us better serve our local veterans who are struggling with addiction. By connecting them with resources, treatment, and long-term care, we can continue to stand up for those who have always stood for us. Thank you to Judge DeMarco and the Treatment Court for their partnership and for working diligently with us over several months to secure this grant funding. Together, with help from our federal partners, we will serve an even greater number of veterans in our community," said Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo.

“As the opioid crisis has taken a major toll on veterans in our community, this funding provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to partner with the Monroe County Veterans Service Agency to provide access to healthcare in a quick and efficient manner,” said the Hon. John L. DeMarco, Presiding Judge of the Rochester Veterans Court.

Drug Court Programs provide non-violent drug offenders with rehabilitation, screening services, and monitoring by the judicial system as an alternative to traditional incarceration. The DOJ Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program provides funding for states, state courts, local courts, local government, and tribal governments to implement and enhance drug courts and veterans treatment courts that effectively integrate evidence-based substance abuse treatment. More information can be found here.