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Third opioid forum focuses on plans for 2018

Sep 28, 2017 7:15 am

Richard Moody is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media officials in Columbia County held the third in a series of forums on the county opioid epidemic, Tue., Sep. 26, at Copake Town Hall. While statewide the number of opioid-related deaths decreased between 2015 and 2016, in Columbia County the death rate increased during the same period. At the forum Twin County Recovery Services Executive Director Beth Schuster said she hopes to expand the organization's Intensive Outpatient Program next year. That program provides clients who have already successfully detoxed a minimum of nine hours a week of intensive recovery services. Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett said his department just hired a new narcotics investigator to "deal with street level work." Bartlett said he is looking to add new prevention measures in middle schools and high schools in the county, and to expand the school resource officer program, as well. “Having those people in the schools, working with the schools and helping educate schools,” he said. “That is where we are heading in 2018.” Assembly member Didi Barrett asked from the audience about any plans to create long-term recovery options. Schuster said she has had conversations about creating extensions to the county’s halfway houses for that next phase of recovery, but noted there is inadequate state funding for that kind of program. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.

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