Utica, N.Y. -- TODAY, County Executive, Anthony Picente calls the opioid addiction in Oneida County an "epidemic".
"It's not a teenage problem, it's not a 20-year-old problem. It runs across the entire spectrum. We know we have an overdose problem and we have to try and reduce that. We certainly want to reduce the number of fatalities."
The County Executive announcing today a partnership with the Sheriff's Office and Whitesboro Police Department called the "Leave Behind" narcan program. County Sheriff Robert Maciol, says that all departments involved are doing everything in their power to save the lives of these people, because these are members of families within the community.
"That person on the ground belongs to someone. That's someone's mom, dad, brother sister, son, daughter. It doesn't matter what the situation is, someone is on the ground overdosing. We have an obligation to do what we can to save a life."
The program addresses the crisis through narcan, which is taken following an overdose to save the individual's life. Maciol says that all first responders will carry extra narcan kits and give them to friends, family, or even bystanders that were around when an overdose took place so that they can help save the person's life if they need to.
The kit includes a single-step four-milligram narcan nasal spray dose, instructions on administering, and a card with contact information for Oneida County subtsance use services. With these tools at the disposal of not only first responders, but family and friends, Picente hopes this will save the lives of many and give them the chance to start over.