Ballston Spa Police, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Officers Call for Action on Drug Overdoses – The Daily Gazette
BALLSTON SPA – A rise in narcotics overdoses in the area has prompted local law enforcement to take action, partnering with an addiction treatment center to train individuals on how to use naloxone, the drug that quickly reverses an opioid overdose , is properly administered.
Lillian McCarthy, Director of the Healing Springs Recovery Community and Outreach Center, will lead a seminar scheduled for February 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 15 W. High Street, Ballston Spa. Ballston Spa Police Commissioner David Bush and Captain Daniel Morley of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department invited McCarthy to present.
“It’s a huge ministry to come out and just take free Narcan training. Because the reality is that you may not know anyone who uses an opiate. But I’d rather see people have the narcan and never use it than need it and not have it, McCarthy said. “I just want to make sure that anyone associated with Ballston Spa or the surrounding areas, or anyone interested in learning a little bit more about addiction and what’s happening, please come out and educate yourself.”
Grant funding allows for free naloxone and education.
“As far as I know, the number of drug overdoses in Ballston Spa and the surrounding areas has been increasing,” said McCarthy, whose center is inundated with requests each month to help about 1,000 people, both in person and by phone. Local data on the increase in overdoses were not immediately available.
“So in that way they’re just trying to be a little bit more proactive to help the community and share some information with them and find out from the community what else we can do to help as well,” she said.
“You have to be alive if we’re going to help you recover,” McCarthy said.
The center’s director attributed the local increase in overdoses to the availability of fentanyl and cocaine. Some addicts’ bodies can’t process the combination and overdose on them, she said.
The statewide and statewide issue is not limited to the Ballston Spa area, she said.
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, the opioid epidemic is a public health emergency with an average of 136 deaths per day and counting.
dr Bobby Mukkamala, chairman of the American Medical Association’s Board of Trustees, wrote an article last week that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country cannot ignore the fact that illegal fentanyl is fueling, and is primarily responsible for, the nationwide epidemic of drug overdoses is the death of more than 100,000 people in the past year alone.
Mukkamala, who also chairs the AMA’s Substance Use and Pain Management Task Force, quoted the US Drug Enforcement Administration as seizing nearly 10 million counterfeit pills last year, many containing counterfeit fentanyl.
The doctor called for action with evidence-based public health interventions to limit the risks and harms of overdose.
Local statistics on overdose increases were not immediately available. Bush did not respond to a call for comment Tuesday, while Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said he was out of office at a conference.
Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.
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