UTICA, N.Y. -- Three days after Oneida County declared an overdose spike alert, due to 21 heroin overdoses, 5 fatal, in 10 days, officials want you to know what they're doing about it.
There is no quick fix to this epidemic. The county executive says there have been four more overdoses in the county since Monday’s alert. But the county is fighting back with the same determination with which the epidemic is claiming victims.
A major facet is immediate response; outreach to the 16 surviving victims of those 21 overdoses. Utica's Rescue Mission has already engaged six of the 21 overdose victims in inpatient and outpatient services.
A big factor is knowing how to hit the heroin problem, where it lives. Overdose mapping, through the Mohawk Valley Crime Analysis Center at the Utica Police Department, will help treatment experts and law enforcement know where to strike, with support and education.
"To reach into those neighborhoods where there are trouble spots, to educate, to literally go face to face with people on the street, providing information to establish Narcan education programs, if we have to, right in the neighborhoods,” said Anthony Picente, the Oneida County executive.
Perhaps an upside to declaring that alert on Monday: six families have reached out to the county, asking for help.