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Major funding award for drug treatment resource organization

Thomas O'Neil-White

A table at the Save the Michaels of the World offices is adorned with pictures of young men and women. All of them were lost to drug addiction. Save the Michaels is being awarded $450,000 in state funds to continue their crusade as a resource center for those seeking treatment for drug addiction. Just this week Steven’s Law passed in the State Senate. The law is named after a young man who overdosed two days after a treatment counselor failed to notify family members of his release. The law encourages outpatient facilities to notify families if a patient is released from the facility.

Save the Michaels Founder Avi Israel says the law is not meant to cause hardships to treatment facilities. Israel has a personal stake in this endeavor. In 2011 his son Michael committed suicide after battling addiction and being refused treatment from facilities. Israel says without family notification, a patient could walk out of a facility and never be seen alive again.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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