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opioid

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

August was a month of extremes in Monroe County’s fight against opioids: The lowest number of overdose deaths recorded since the sheriff’s office started keeping track in January, and the highest number of Narcan uses to reverse an overdose.

The commander of the county’s heroin task force, Andrew DeLyser, said the month could be a statistical anomaly, and he said the numbers — even the decrease in fatal overdoses — are still cause for concern.

www.heroinaddiction.com

Fifteen new detox beds are coming to Monroe County, where advocates and families have long been calling for additional addiction treatment facilities.

The additional beds, funded by a $1 million state grant, will not quite double the 25 currently available in the county. The new beds will be administered by Helio Health, which changed its name from Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare in June.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Families and friends of people addicted to drugs marked International Overdose Awareness Day in Rochester by sharing messages of hope and support, and calling for more addiction treatment options locally.

Thursday's event at the city's Martin Luther King Jr. Park drew hundreds of people, including addiction recovery service providers and representatives of the city of Rochester, surrounding towns and counties, and the state’s Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

New York Senator Chuck Schumer took aim at the conception of the opioid epidemic as an urban concern Friday.

Standing in front of the one-story police headquarters in Holley, an Erie Canal village of about 2,000 people, the Democrat urged his senate colleagues to support an effort to bring “cutting-edge technology” to the fight against opioids across the state.

Schumer said the money the federal government is spending to fight the opioid epidemic is largely going to cities. That puts the public and law enforcement officers in rural areas at risk, he said.

Gates Police

Local support groups working with people addicted to opioids distributed what they were calling “recovery first aid” kits to government officials Tuesday.

The kits contained contact information for a half-dozen groups that provide services ranging from overdose treatment to grief counseling. David Attridge, executive director of Gates to Recovery, unveiled the kits and presented them to Monroe County legislators at their August meeting.

Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Public Safety Initiatives

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology released the region’s first-ever catalog of responses to the growing opioid epidemic.

Topics covered in the document include techniques for reversing overdoses, systems for prosecuting drug users and sellers, and strategies for addiction prevention.

npr.org

Faced with a distinct shortage of opioid detox beds locally, the town of Gates is partnering with three addiction treatment centers in Pennsylvania, town officials said Thursday.

Gates to Recovery, the drop-in center for people seeking treatment for addiction in the town, announced what it called “a collaborative project” that will allow Monroe County residents to be treated across state lines.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Six months after the formation of the Monroe County Heroin Task Force, law enforcement officials said the death toll from opioids is still climbing.

But officers have learned some important lessons, said task force commander Andy DeLyser.

“We’re never, ever going to arrest our way out of this problem. I don’t believe we’re ever, ever going to treat our way out of this problem,” DeLyser said.

Opioid education comes to chamber of commerce

Jul 25, 2018

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce hosted local experts on the opioid crisis at a members-only event Wednesday morning.

Monroe County public health commissioner Michael Mendoza trained attendees on the use of Narcan to reduce opioid overdoses, and Kimberly Harding, an employment attorney at Nixon Peabody, was there to answer legal questions.

Opioid prescriptions down at Excellus

Jul 16, 2018
npr.org

Opioid prescriptions at Monroe County’s largest health insurer have decreased, even as deaths from opioids have continued to climb.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s prescribers in Rochester wrote 33 percent fewer opioid prescriptions per patient last year than in 2013, the company’s data show. Excellus corporate medical director Martin Lustick said the numbers are encouraging, but he also acknowledged a need to keep improving.

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