DEERFIELD – Jodi Warren from the Center for Family Life and Recovery and Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol joined NewsTalk Tuesday afternoon as part of our opioid crisis series, “Overdosed in the Mohawk Valley.”
“I think I always go back to what the sheriff says, we can’t arrest our way out of this,” Warren said. “So we focus on things, we focus on prevention in particular. We focus on working together in a collaborative way to impact the community with education, awareness, and working together that way instead of arresting people all the time. Looking at treatment, recovery and preventing it from happening again.”
Oneida County has experienced a steady increase in the number of opiate users in recent years. From 2013-2015, there were 77 opioid related deaths, with 42 of those being in 2014.
In 2015, Oneida County had 36 opioid related deaths, 96 emergency department visits for opioid overdoses, and 41 hospitalizations for opioid overdose.
In 2016, Oneida County had 37 opioid related deaths, 185 emergency department visits related to opioid use, and 67 hospitalizations for opioid use.
“I’ve never been one to use the word epidemic, but it’s an epidemic, and it’s crushing us,” Maciol said. “It’s ripping families apart. We’re seeing staggering numbers, both out in the community, in the amount of inmates coming through our facility that are currently using and have used in the past few days from them coming in. Overwhelming, and I just never thought … that we’d ever be dealing with a problem of this magnitude.”
One way the Center for Family Life and Recovery is trying to combat the opioid crisis is with MedReturn Units, which are locations that people can turn in their unused or expired medications for safe disposal.
MedReturn Units can be found at the following locations:
- Boonville Police Department
- Camden Police Department
- Kirkland Police Department
- Oneida County Sheriff’s Office
- Oriskany Police Department
- Rome Police Department
- Sherrill Police Department
- Trenton Municipal Building
- Waterville Municipal Building
- Utica Police Department
For more information, visit the Center for Family Life and Recovery’s website here, or call 315-733-1709.