Suffolk County launches program to help with substance abuse, mental health

After months of isolation and anxiety, the pandemic is taking a toll on people with mental health and substance abuse issues.
Max Ferro is now sober for 14 months, however, he says anxiety and fear over the pandemic, finances and now social unrest has added high hurdles in his fight to stay healthy.
"It's definitely been very difficult," said Ferro. "They say self-isolation is the worst for people with mental health and or addiction issues - that's what we been forced to do."
Steve Chassam, who heads the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, says the numbers show the current state of the world has ramped up and wreaked havoc on individuals who are struggling to stay healthy.
"According to Nassau and Suffolk counties, the uptick in fatal and not fatal overdoses is on the rise for the first time in two years," said Chassam.
To combat what health professionals call the perfect storm that has led to the rise in substance abuse, the Suffolk district attorney, working with LICADD, has launched a program called DOORS. Instead of arresting those with addictions, the program refers them to agencies where they can find help.
Ferro, who has fallen through the cracks too many times but now has brighter days ahead, says this is the helping hand those with addictions need.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues, click here for more information on DOORS.