Buffalo, NYC Alcohol and Drug Use Statistics
Among the different substances misused in Buffalo, opiates, prescribed and street-purchased, top the charts for damage caused in hospital admissions and overdoses.1 Here are some key notes about substance misuse in Erie County, the seat of Buffalo, NY:2,3,4,5
- In 2019, Erie County was among the top localities in the state for hospital discharges due to opioid use.
- While heroin overdoses caused a larger problem for other counties in the state, the rate of overdoses from other types of opiates, including prescriptions and fentanyl, is higher in Erie county than what was seen across the state in 2020.
- Between 2015 to 2017, the rate of overdose deaths by fentanyl tripled across NY in counties outside of NYC.
- Cocaine has been an increasing problem in every county, with overdose rates across the state skyrocketing since 2015 to 1,320 in 2019 overdoses related to cocaine, which may be impacted by the new presence of fentanyl in common street drugs.
If you’re one of the countless people around the county impacted by substance misuse, look for Buffalo drug rehabs to help you find your way to recovery.
Cost of Drug Rehab in New York
The factors that contribute to your care costs vary depending on the type and severity of your addiction, as well as your location, what type of insurance you have, and what type of treatment you’re looking for.
Where Can I Find Low-Cost and Free Rehabs in Buffalo, NY?
State-funded rehabs receive money from governmental bodies, both local and federal. These organizations may offer sliding-fee-scale payment options or rehab scholarships to those in need. If you want to explore free rehabs in Buffalo, call the Erie county social services office, or give us a call at 800-926-9037 (Who Answers?) anytime for help.
Does Insurance Cover Alcohol and Drug Rehab in New York?
Yes, provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act legally obligate alcohol and drug rehabs in New York to cover the cost of medically needed addiction services.
Medicaid is a government-funded health insurance coverage program for low-income residents. You can qualify by having an income below federal poverty standards or being pregnant or with children, and having an income at less than 133% of poverty standards.6 According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), 50 groups and facilities in and 25 miles around Buffalo accept Medicaid for services.7
Medicare is another government-funded health insurance designed for people past the age of retirement or who are disabled. Medicare covers hospitalization, medications, therapy, and medical transportation. While Medicare rehabs in Buffalo might not always have room, there are 23 groups in the area that provide treatment, so your chances of finding availability are high.7
Private insurance groups such as Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Health Group cover addiction recovery services such as therapy and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Reach out to your provider by calling the number on the back of your card to see what services are covered under your specific plan.
Popular Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers in Buffalo, NY
Out of the three dozen rehabs we’ve found in Buffalo, here are a few of the top picks to help get you started on your rehab research.
Horizon Health Hertel Elmwood Recovery Center
Hertel Elmwood Recovery Center clients take advantage of outpatient addiction treatment, crisis stabilization, and referrals to their inpatient rehab clinics in nearby cities. Horizon Health has 20 locations across western New York and contracts with many insurance providers, including Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE. Clients can also qualify for a payment plan or a rehab scholarship if they meet income guidelines.
At the Pathways program at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, you can participate in a comprehensive outpatient program with holistic recovery options, such as MAT, spiritual guidance, and pastoral counseling. Inpatient services are available at other locations across western New York, including rehab programs for men and women. Referrals aren’t needed to enter this program, and they help low-income clients with Medicaid and its Healthcare Assistance Program.
Beacon Center Downtown Buffalo
Beacon Center in Downtown Buffalo has various outpatient services, including medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine, suboxone, and naltrexone. Beacon Center has served New York since 1990 and has ten locations, including a community reintegration house in Herkimer.
Endeavor Health Services Williams Street
Endeavor Health Services Williams Street is a youth and adult rehab center offering outpatient and counseling services as well as MAT. This center accepts Medicare and Medicaid and has sliding scale fees for low-income clients.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab in Buffalo
There is a wide range of rehab options for those in need, with varying levels of intensity and time requirements.
If you have a severe addiction in need of medical assistance to treatment, then a detox program should precede any inpatient or outpatient treatment. Some inpatient rehabs have a detox program that you can utilize before moving into the inpatient side of the center, or detox centers and inpatient facilities can arrange transportation for you after you’ve completed your detox.
Inpatient rehabs can last a month to a year, depending on the program. Typically, inpatient rehab starts with an assessment, and you arrive at the center with only the clothing and valuables approved by the center (generally, cellphones are not allowed).
Outpatient rehabs provide varying degrees of intensive therapies, including the evidence-based treatments you would find in inpatient rehab. The first level of outpatient treatment, standard outpatient care, has one or two sessions of treatment per week, each lasting one or more hours.8 This type of care is usually accompanied by case management and participation in community support groups.
If you need more help than what’s found in a standard outpatient program, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) provide a step up in care, with more frequent meetings and treatment sessions. IOPs typically require three to five days of participation.
Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are the most rigorous, often asking clients to visit the clinic for treatment five days a week, if not every day. These programs are best suited for someone in need of medical supervision and MAT who aren’t able to commit to inpatient rehab.
Advantages of Inpatient Addiction Treatment
The greatest advantage of inpatient rehab is the high success rate as compared to alternative options. Residential rehab offers the opportunity to focus solely on your recovery. Here, you’ll spend all your time breaking down the processes that underlie your dangerous behaviors and helping you build them back up into healthy emotions and reactions.
The temptation to use will be completely removed when you’re in a serene, structured environment with little or no access to your home life and any substances that exist there until you’ve graduated. Spending 30 days or longer in an inpatient program (90 days is recommended for the best chance at recovery)8 can help you unlearn bad habits and pick up new ones that can contribute to your new, healthy life.
Disadvantages of Inpatient Care
One disadvantage of inpatient care is the amount of time required to spend away from home, and the fact that programs often require you to refrain from contacting your friends and loved ones outside of scheduled group therapy sessions. This can be a deterrent for many people, but know that a few weeks spent away from the reminders that lead to cravings can be extremely helpful to your recovery and make the process overall happen quicker.
Another downside is inpatient alcohol or drug rehab in Buffalo tends to cost considerably more than outpatient rehab because the program includes housing, meals, medical supervision, amenities, and more. Some centers offer a more hands-on approach to clients, creating a meal plan at intake and providing residents with the groceries to cook for themselves.
Advantages of Outpatient Addiction Treatment
The greatest advantages of outpatient drug rehab in New York are the ability to tend to your recovery while also taking care of your other daily responsibilities and the cost savings. Working professionals, parents, students, and others that can’t leave their daily lives behind for weeks or months at a time can benefit greatly from the freedom afforded by outpatient treatment.
Disadvantages of Outpatient Rehab
If you’re at high risk for relapse due to your family or social circle still engaging in substance misuse, your recovery efforts could be diminished from home stress and peer pressure. The disadvantage of outpatient rehab is that you have less social support and a lack of a structured environment when you aren’t at a therapy session, which could endanger your sobriety. Outpatient rehab requires a high level of family care to help you stick to your recovery when you aren’t at your Buffalo outpatient rehab center.
While outpatient rehab may offer MAT, it isn’t appropriate for someone going through detox. Among the disadvantages of outpatient rehab is the lack of medical supervision, requiring round the clock for someone with severe withdrawal symptoms.
Types of Drug and Alcohol Rehabs in Buffalo, NY
If you belong to a faith group that could help your recovery efforts, or if you have certain requirements that you believe will enable your success, then choose a program dedicated to your specific needs.
Faith-Based and Christian Rehab
Spending time in a community focused on recovery that shares your spiritual beliefs can be a boon for your motivation to stick to it. These types of programs can include pastoral counseling, prayer and meditation, and the integration of practices from your faith into treatment sessions. Faith-based and Christian or Jewish drug and alcohol rehabs in New York are often dedicated to serving the impoverished and may have rehab scholarships or sliding-fee-scale programs for low-income clients.
When you want to take a relaxing vacation that includes drug and alcohol recovery programming, look into luxury rehabs. These centers tend to provide high-end amenities like spas, fitness centers, deluxe suites, and on-call masseuses for relief from withdrawal symptoms. These centers tend to cost more than others and may be less likely to accept Medicaid or Medicare.
If you’re in a professional position such as a teacher, lawyer, doctor, or in law enforcement, then you’ll want to seek out an executive rehab that values your confidentiality to protect your career. Executive rehabs also tend to offer roomy suites and on-site fitness and business centers.
Holistic simply means to take into account all aspects of a subject, which in recovery would mean the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of addiction and healing. Holistic rehab centers cater to people who enjoy natural therapies and a body-mind-spirit approach to wellness. These rehabs tend to have daily yoga practices, mindfulness meditation groups, and vegan diet plans.
Dual Diagnosis Rehab
Dual diagnosis rehab is for people who suffer from mental health conditions and substance use disorder co-occurring, with substance misuse exacerbating the symptoms of mental illness and vice versa. Mental health and substance misuse disorders go hand in hand, and standard Buffalo drug rehabs generally don’t have the specialized psychiatric team needed to address each disorder’s complicated symptoms. Look for a dual diagnosis rehab in New York to help you with both issues at the same time.
Medication-assisted treatment is an FDA-approved addiction therapy that uses medications to inhibit opiate and alcohol withdrawal symptoms and cravings by binding to certain receptors including opioid and dopamine receptors. You can seek help from a MAT program by first submitting to an intake assessment, where you’ll be screened for your addiction issues, as well as any physical and mental factors that could complicate treatment.
MAT is appropriate when combined with intensive, evidence-based therapy, including talk therapy and group therapy. Its patients benefit from the holistic effects of an all-encompassing treatment plan when their addiction medications pause the physical distress symptoms that often lead to relapse. With medication for addiction, you can take control of the chemical processes occurring within your body in regards to substance use, giving you the upper hand against illicit drugs and alcohol and helping you beat your addiction.
One warning about medication-assisted treatment: the body will lose any developed tolerance to drugs like opioids after a long period of cessation, so those who relapse after MAT are at a heightened risk of overdose. This treatment is only one component of a comprehensive, individually-tailored plan. It’s crucial to seek substance use treatment, including evidence-based therapies and addiction medication, to help you succeed in lasting relapse prevention.
According to SAMHSA, there are seven federally-certified opiate treatment programs within 25 miles of downtown Buffalo. Read on to learn more about the different types of medication for addiction.
How to Get Methadone at a Methadone Clinic
Methadone is an opioid agonist that reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms.9 This medication is FDA-approved for opiate addiction treatment and pain management and is available in many forms. This medication is available only through a certified MAT provider, who either gives you the medication directly during treatment at a methadone clinic or through a prescription after you’ve stabilized in your treatment program.
Finding Suboxone Doctors
Suboxone, also known as buprenorphine, is an opioid partial agonist that produces similar but extremely weak effects to heroin and opioids, helping to dramatically reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This medication must be started no sooner than 12 hours after your last time using opiates or heroin while you’re in the early stages of withdrawal.
After enough time has passed on a stable daily dose, you may switch to an alternate-day dosage. Suboxone addiction management can last for years or indefinitely. Suboxone is a federally controlled medication, and sharing it with anyone is a crime. The only way to get this and other addiction medications is to visit a federally-certified opiate prescribing doctor.10 Thanks to the rise of telehealth services, you may be able to attain a Suboxone/buprenorphine prescription over the phone with your established MAT provider.11 There are 45 Suboxone/buprenorphine prescribers in the 25 miles radius around Buffalo.7 Call us 24/7 at 800-926-9037 (Who Answers?) if you need help in finding a local one that takes your insurance.
Naltrexone for Alcohol or Opioid Addiction
FDA-approved to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD), naltrexone works by binding to and blocking opiate receptors.12 This stops any euphoric or sedative effect from occurring when drinking or taking opiates and reduces opiate cravings. This medication is not addictive.
Naltrexone, brand name Vivitrol, the extended-release intramuscular injectable, is FDA-approved for MAT, but the oral medication form is not. Vivitrol is best started after detox is complete so as not to cause withdrawal symptoms. Users typically stay on the medication for three to four months under medical supervision, and aftercare counseling is highly recommended.
There are 41 naltrexone/Vivitrol clinics within a 25-mile radius of downtown Buffalo.7 If you need to find a treatment provider, there are a few places to start. You can call the number on the back of your health insurance card to be connected to approved providers in your network, and you can speak to the local social services office to find referrals. You can also search for providers on the Vivitrol website.
Antabuse (Disulfiram) for Alcohol Addiction
Disulfiram, brand name Antabuse, interrupts the body’s process of breaking down consumed alcohol, causing a cascade of uncomfortable symptoms if you drink alcohol while taking it.13 This helps dissuade a person from drinking, making it a valuable relapse prevention tool.
Keep in mind that any product containing alcohol can cause you to feel sick while on Antabuse, including hand sanitizer, cough syrup, muscle rubs, and some types of seasonings, vinegar, and kombucha. You can get a prescription for this and other alcohol addiction medications at Buffalo alcohol rehabs.
Acamprosate for Alcohol Use Disorder
Acamprosate, brand name Campral, is an alcohol-cessation medication that helps quell the cravings to drink.14 It doesn’t help with withdrawal symptoms and should be taken after detoxing. This medication might cause issues for people with kidney problems. Make sure to speak to your healthcare provider about what addiction medications would be appropriate for you. To find an appropriate clinic, ask for a referral from your primary care doctor, health insurance group, or local social services agency.
Should I Travel to Buffalo, New York, for Alcohol and Drug Treatment?
Aside from a general love of the area and its natural beauty, it might behoove you to seek addiction treatment in New York if you have family in the area to support you or want to explore the economic and educational opportunities in the area. It might also make sense for you if your insurance would cover your cost of care in the city or if you know of particularly helpful drug rehab in Buffalo that you want to attend.
Neighborhoods in Buffalo to Consider for Treatment
At the top of our list is Elmwood, home to gorgeous houses and a multitude of quaint local shops and dining establishments. Or check out the Five Points neighborhood if you want all of the above plus wonderful artist spaces. If you want a smaller town feel, try Springville, south of downtown and a bit more rural. This neighborhood has flea markets, farms, dining, and awesome art installations such as the Griffis Sculpture Park.
Drug and Alcohol Laws in Buffalo, New York
Various bills and laws have been created to help battle the problems that substance use causes the community of Buffalo.
The first in the nation, Buffalo created their Opioid Court program in 2017 to help save lives. This program offers day-of-arrest intervention that can help put people into opioid addiction treatment instead of jail. This is a pre-plea, voluntary program that involves daily judicial supervision, medical detox, and wrap-around services, which could be transferred into a stay in rehab, or to engage in recovery support services while pursuing deposition.15
Alternatives to Incarceration Programs
Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) is an overarching series of pretrial services and policies, and programs to give people a chance to seek therapy instead of facing sentencing. There are 165 such programs across the state and in Buffalo.16
Good Samaritan Overdose Law
If you’re in the presence of or experiencing an overdose, you can reach out to emergency services without fear of jail time if you have drugs or paraphernalia.# This law has limits, but it’s designed to encourage people to save a life by calling 911, even if they are using or sharing illegal drugs.17
- New York State Department of Health. (2021). Opioid Annual Data Report.
- New York State Department of Health. (April, 2022). County Opioid Quarterly Report.
- New York State Department of Health. (January, 2022). Opioid Prevention Program: Data to Action Overdose Deaths Involving Methamphetamine With and Without Fentanyl in New York State, Outside of New York City, 2016-2020.
- New York State Department of Health. (February, 2019). Opioid Prevention Program: Data to Action: Fentanyl-related deaths in New York State outside of New York City, 2015-2017.
- New York State Department of Health. (July, 2021). Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine With and Without Opioids in New York State, 2010-2019.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022). Eligibility.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. (2022). Treatment Locator.
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); (2006). Chapter 3. Intensive Outpatient Treatment and the Continuum of Care.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Methadone.
- New York State Department of Health. (April, 2021). New York State Guidance for Accessing Buprenorphine through Telemedicine.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Buprenorphine.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Naltrexone.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2022). Antabuse.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2022). Acamprosate.
- New York State Unified Court System. (2022). Opioid Courts.
- New York State Department of Criminal Justice. (2022). Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) Programs
- New York State Department of Health. (2022). 911 Good Samaritan Law.