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Tioga County Jail receives funding for substance abuse treatment services

OWEGO, N.Y. - New funding from the state will help the Tioga County Jail replace a drug treatment counselor it lost a month ago.

State Senator Fred Akshar joined Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard and other county officials Tuesday to announce $156,000 to pay for substance abuse treatment services within the jail.

Just last month, a federal grant ran out that covered the salary of an addiction counselor from Trinity CASA.

The position provides evaluation and counseling as well as coordinates a transition of service once an inmate is released.

The funding will also provide access to medically assisted withdrawal using suboxone or vivitrol.

Director of Community Service for Tioga County Mental Hygiene Lori Morgan says being incarcerated can serve as a catalyst for change.

"When you're here, you realize where your addiction has brought you.  You may have a moment of clarity.  People may be open and motivated to seek an alternative lifestyle, one that moves toward recovery," said Morgan.

The money is coming from state funds controlled by the New York State Senate.

Morgan says it will cover a full-time counselor and two part-time peer counselors for one year.

She believes the program will receive ongoing state support once officials see how successful it becomes.

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