The COVID-19 pandemic is being blamed for a troubling increase in narcotic overdoses and substance use concerns in Warren and Washington counties.
A new bi-county organization, Warren-Washington Counties Criminal Justice and Community Services Task Force, is working to make sure those in need of assistance, and those who love them, know where to turn for help in these difficult times.
Because of the length of time that it takes for postmortem toxicology tests to confirm overdose as a cause of death, local overdose statistics can be tough to pin down. But Warren County
Sheriff’s Office statistics show that use of the life-saving anti-opioid medication Narcan by sheriff’s officers has markedly increased this year, with 18 deployments to date, compared to 14 all of last year.
The isolation and stress of the pandemic are blamed at least in part for increased opioid use.
“While substance use assistance and mental health services have always been a priority, there is now an acute need for timely ease and access to meet the rising needs of our community,” said Carrie Wright, co-chair of the Warren-Washington Counties Criminal Justice and Community Services Task Force.
Wright noted that communities in the region have seen an increase in opioid overdoses as well as more use of carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and can cause immediate death when ingested.
“As community members we have a unique opportunity to take action and be mindful of our individual, familial and societal needs around supporting those that may be the most vulnerable in our community at this time,” Wright explained. “We would like to ensure that the Criminal Justice and Community Services Task Force will continue to make the public aware of the services available within our community.“
Here are some local resources to help confront the opioid epidemic here in Warren and Washington counties:
- Please consider participating in a Narcan training, to be ready to use the medication if needed. The Alliance for Positive Health, Healing Springs Recovery Community Center and the Hope & Healing Recovery Community & Outreach Center are all providing FREE Narcan training and kits. Contact information for these providers is listed below.
- For additional assistance, Behavioral Health Services North opened its integrated care facility, Center for Well-Being, at 25 Willowbrook Road in Queensbury on November 9th. Center for Well-Being can be reached at 518.926.7200 for substance use and recovery services and 518.926.7100 for mental health services for adults and children.
Contact information for other local organizations that can provide assistance:
- The Center for Recovery: 340 Main Street, Hudson Falls -- 518.747.8001.
- Parsons Mobile Crisis Services: Parents, guardians, or adults should call 518.292.5499
for immediate live crisis support.
- Alliance for Positive Health: Provides: Sterile Needles and Supplies, Harm Reduction Counseling, HIV& Hepatitis C Testing, Hep C Navigation, Narcan Training and Kits, Access to Health Care. Services delivered by appointment Monday-Friday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. For a delivery appointment -- 518.743.0703 ext. 3312, or text 518.419.1578
- Hope & Healing Recovery Community & Outreach Center: 2 Maple Street, Hudson Falls, NY 12839 -- 518.480.5499
- Healing Springs Recovery Community Center: 125 High Rock Ave Rear lot, blue awning, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 -- 518.306.3048