Battling the opioid crisis in Rochester

ROCHESTER, NY — The opioid crisis not slowing down and law enforcement and community advocates are trying to do what they can to handle it.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning law enforcement that fentanyl is the leading cause of overdoses across the country.

Yes the DEA says last year there were more than 105,000 Americans who died from drug overdoses. Of those cases, 66% were related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

The local community is not immune to the trend.

Monroe County reports 43 fatal overdoses so far this year. February had double the amount of overdoses and deaths compared to last year.

The DEA has warned that fentanyl is the leading cause of overdoses across the country. MCSO says they see evidence of that in our area. The Father Tracy Advocacy Center is bringing attention to the N. Clinton Ave. area’s struggle with drugs. More this morning on @SPECNews1ROC

— Brianna Hamblin (@BriReports) April 14, 2022

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says the cause is often the substances being put into these drugs without the user’s knowledge.

“We’re seeing fentanyl in cocaine, we’re seeing it in heroin, we’re seeing it in pills,” said Deputy Michael Favata of the sheriff’s office. “You have a lot of these designer pills, they have a pill press that they’re making stuff that looks just like your prescriptions.”

The Father Tracy Advocacy Center is speaking out for the North Clinton Avenue community and talking about how drugs have wreaked havoc before their eyes there.

The center put out a study they did interviewing people in the mostly Latino neighborhood about their experience with drugs. The report says Latinos had the highest rate of opioid-driven emergency department visits in the Finger Lakes region in 2010 and 2016.

The report went on to share personal accounts of how people got into drugs, whether it was coping with a bad home life or they were introduced to them by friends.

The center’s goal is to bring awareness that the North Clinton Avenue unity needs more services to support long-term recovery.

“There’s no place like Clinton,” said Rodolfo Rivera, CEO of the advocacy center. “Nobody gives a damn about what happens here. But we did. And we were determined not to just let people come back and forth…dying and overdosing. Something on their behalf needed to happen.”

One of the people who was interviewed shared that until someone wants recovery for themselves, no amount of services will help. But the center hopes more mental health services would prevent people from going down the path of drugs in the first place.

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