Discussion highlights New York community’s opioid crisis

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New York Sen. Jen Metzger (D-Hudson Valley) recently led a Facebook livestream discussion on the opioid epidemic in her district.

The discussion was the 10th in a series and focused on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on opioid use and prevention and treatment efforts as well as programs and strategies to fight the epidemic.

Highlights of the discussion included the fact that overdoses in Sullivan, Ulster, and Orange counties are higher when compared to the last year. The increase is attributed to stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

The pandemic has also made it more difficult to provide in-person treatment, but alternatives have been established.

Reducing the stigma around substance use disorders and educating youth is vital for preventing abuse and getting people the treatment they need.

Resources for families and loved ones are an essential part of an addiction’s recovery.

Metzger was joined in the discussion by Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa, City of Middletown Police Chief John Ewanciw, and Dr. Dean Scher of Catholic Charities.

“We need to double down on our efforts in prevention and treatment, working with local law enforcement, county health departments, community-based organizations, schools, and other partners as we continue to navigate this pandemic, and beyond,” Metzger said.

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