New York county proposes opioid prevention plan

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Pat Ryan, county executive for Ulster County, N.Y., recently proposed a more than $670,000 opioid-use prevention plan as part of the 2021 Executive Budget.

Ulster County declared a Public Health Emergency on Aug. 31. From January through July, opioid-related deaths spiked 171 percent compared to the first seven months of 2019. Of those deaths, 89 percent were attributed to fentanyl.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that we do all that we can to ramp up and prioritize combating the opioid epidemic,” Ryan said. “That is why when I took office, I made tackling the opioid epidemic one of my Big Five priorities. These funds will go a long way in helping to educate the public, provide needed treatment and support, and to ultimately save lives. Ulster County will not just talk about the issue, we are taking real action and putting funding behind stopping an epidemic that has ripped apart too many families in our community.”

As part of the proposal, residents seeking treatment can obtain housing vouchers at local hotels; those seeking treatment can seek childcare vouchers; transportation costs would be offset for residents going to treatment; access telemedicine would be expanded; and Ulster County’s High Risk Mitigation Team would be expanded.

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