Funding Will Help OASAS Providers Implement Short-term and Lifelong Evidence-Based Prevention Tools to Help Teach Students Self-Regulation Skills

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) today announced an award of more than $1.6 million in funding to help teachers across the state implement the PAX Good Behavior Game Program, an initiative that will equip students with the skills necessary to reduce risk factors associated with drug use and addiction. The awards are fully funded through the State Opioid Response grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“It’s important to raise awareness about substance abuse at an early age, and this funding will expand prevention education and resources in schools across the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force. “We are committed in our efforts to prevent and treat addiction and help individuals and their families on the road to recovery. This program continues our investments to combat the opioid epidemic in New York State.”

“Teaching our young people the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices helps them avert the perils that can result from substance use,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “This invaluable funding will help us continue to advance our overall prevention efforts while also ensuring that we are teaching children the lifelong skills needed to lead drug-free, happy and productive lives.”

The PAX Good Behavior Game is an evidence-based practice that provides students with the skills necessary for self-regulation, which has shown to reduce aggression and disruptive behavior – both of which are risk factors for adolescent and adult illicit drug use. PAX has shown to provide numerous short-term and lifetime benefits such as improving classroom performance, mental health outcomes and substance use prevention. Specifically, students in PAX classrooms demonstrate decreased tobacco use, reduced alcohol use, decreased illicit drug use (including opioid abuse), and a lower level of overall service use for substance abuse or psychiatric disorders.

Eleven prevention providers will receive up to $165,000 each to work with school districts or individual schools across the state to expand the use of the PAX Good Behavior Game. Funding will help train prevention staff and teachers in grades K-5 in the game, and the prevention providers will partner with schools on implementation and on-going technical assistance. The initiative will be implemented in classrooms for the 2019-2020 school year.

A full list of providers who have been awarded funding for this initiative are listed below:

Capital District
• Albany Diocesan School Board ($165,000): Proposed implementation in 25 classrooms across five (5) schools in Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Ballston Spa and Glen Falls serving students in kindergarten through 4th grade.

Central New York
• Contact Community Services with Solvay Union Free School District ($82,000): Proposed implementation in 25 classrooms in one (1) school serving students in kindergarten through 4th grade.
• Contact Community Services with Syracuse City School District ($165,000): Proposed implementation in 30 classrooms across two (2) schools serving students in kindergarten through 5th grade.

Long Island
• YES Community Counseling Center ($165,000): Proposed implementation in 27 classrooms across 6 schools in Levittown, Seaford, and Wantagh serving 2nd grade students.

• Student Assistant Services ($165,000): Proposed implementation in 26 classrooms in 1 school in Yonkers serving students in grades kindergarten through 6th grade.

Mohawk Valley
• Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties ($165,000): Proposed implementation in 50 classrooms across 3 schools in Johnstown serving students in 1st through 6th grade.

New York City
• Riseboro ($165,000): Proposed implementation in 40 classrooms across three (3) schools in Brooklyn serving students in kindergarten through 5th grade.

North Country
• Champlain Valley Family Center for Drug Treatment and Youth Services, Inc. ($165,000): Proposed implementation in 20 classrooms across two (2) schools in AuSable and Keeseville serving students in kindergarten through 3rd grade.
• Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County, Inc. DBA PIVOT ($165,000): Proposed implementation in 43 classrooms across nine (9) schools in Watertown, Beaver Falls, Adams, Copenhagen, LaFargeville, and Port Leyden, serving students in grades kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Southern Tier
• CASA Trinity ($91,080): Proposed implementation in 22 classrooms across two (2) schools in Owego and Apalachin serving students in 1st through 3rd grade.

Western New York

• Chautauqua Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council ($165,000): Proposed implementation in 41 classrooms across three (3) schools In Clymer, Bemus Point and Sherman serving students in kindergarten through 5th grade.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369). For more information about problem gambling visit

Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at or through the NYS OASAS website. Visit to learn more about the warning signs of addiction, review information on how to get help, and access resources on how to facilitate conversations with loved ones and communities about addiction. For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the state’s Talk2Prevent website