Monroe County officials released figures Wednesday that show the deadly impact that the opioid crisis has had on this area.
At a news conference at Greece Town Hall, County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said in the first half of 2016, the medical examiner’s office reported 97 overdose fatalities directly attributable to the use of heroin, opioids and other related substances.
In the same time period of 2017, there were 115 deaths.
“So you can clearly see that there’s an uptick in the data,” Dinolfo said. “Sadly, despite our community’s best collective efforts to combat this crisis, it’s possible the crisis will get worse before it gets better.”
Dinolfo also announced that the county is expanding its training to teach more people how to use Narcan, an emergency nasal spray that can be used to stop an opioid overdose.
Dinolfo said the town of Greece is the first municipality to partner with the county to bring the training to its workforce.
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“The county is also providing Narcan nasal spray response kits for the towns to keep on hand in case, God forbid, of an opioid overdose right here in the town of Greece,” she said.
Dinolfo said the training is being offered throughout the county.
“We’ve contacted every single local government, our towns and villages, to offer them the same opportunity to participate in an opioid overdose prevention training session right there at their facilities.”
Dr. Michael Mendoza, the county’s commissioner of public health, said the Narcan training is an important factor in addressing the opioid crisis.
“I cannot overstate the importance of having Narcan available and getting trained on how to use this life-saving medication.”
Mendoza also reminded the public that anyone can go to any local pharmacy and obtain a Narcan kit without a prescription.
A Narcan training video is also available on the county’s website, which you can see here: