And, in his second term in office, he ended the county’s Students Against Drunk Driving (S.A.D.D.) campaign
Nobody knows how many lives might have been saved, or how many young people might have gone in a different direction or stayed on the path to recovery.
But, what we do know is that more than 925 residents have died, of Heroin or prescription painkiller overdoses, in Nassau County since those drug rehabs were closed.
The two New York State licensed facilities provided quality treatment at a relatively low cost. One - Plainview Rehab - was self-sustaining by way of Medicaid revenue. The other - Topic House (also in Plainview) - was largely state-funded.
Suozzi said at the time that it was done to save money, yet millions of dollars in Medicaid revenue and state funding were lost by closing the facilities and having the retain the civil service employees working there.
And statistics clearly show that prevention and treatment are far less expensive than incarceration.
It wasn’t until about 2 years later, that the public benefit corporation that owns NUMC in East Meadow, opened 20 rehab beds - a far cry from the 56 inpatient and 88 residential beds that existed in Plainview prior to 2003.
Supporters credit Ed Mangano for stepping in and creating outside-the-box solutions to reduce those numbers.