Cayuga County is seeing an increase in opioid overdoses and deaths, especially since the pandemic began.
Due to the opioid problem being so prevalent in Cayuga County, it was chosen as a place to take part in the HEALing Communities Studies, which tracks opioid overdoses as they happen in real time. While the study is influencing change, the problem is still growing.
The project director of HEALing Communities Study, Monika Salvage, has stated that when Covid began there was an increase in both overdoses and fatalities.
Nine people died in 2019 of an opioid overdose and in 2020 the number more than doubled to 21 deadly overdoses. Already in 2021 the county is at 8 deaths.
One result of the study is the ability to hand out Narcan spray in communities. The kits are free and training only takes minutes.
Each kit comes with two vials and if someone is suspected to be overdosing on opiates, they should be used. After opening the vial, it is inserted into the nose of the person suspected of overdosing and released like a nasal spray. 911 should always be called and if the person does not come to within a few minutes another dose should be used.
After handing out over 800 kits in the last year and reaching more rural areas, data shows that bystanders are stepping in more often and nearly 50 lives have been saved.
The goal of the study is so the community is all aware so if someone asks for help they can get it immediately.
Cayuga County residents can look here for more information on Narcan and training.
Salvage listed the following for those looking for help and in need of resources:
Nick’s Ride 4 Friends: 315-246-6485. They can help them navigate the services that are available.
Cayuga County Mental Health Center: 315-253-0341. The Family Access to Services Team works with families and children who are struggling. That same number goes to Mobile Crisis evenings, weekends, and on holidays and mental health professionals can assist callers. Mobile Crisis serves a 5-county region.
Helio Health has a 24/7 Regional Open Access Center for Addiction in Syracuse. They serve several counties and people can call 315-471-1564.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
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