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Overdose fatalities concern recovery advocates

Mar 04, 2022 1:30 am

Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media just two months into the new year Columbia County has already reported 13 drug overdoses and three fatalities, statistics that worry addiction recovery advocates. During the same period in 2021, the county reported 16 overdoses but no fatalities. In 2021 altogether, the county had 93 overdoses and 14 fatalities, or an average of slightly more than one death per month. “When we look at our overdose numbers, Philmont statistically has incidents of overdose,” Greener Pathways Program Director Carl Quinn said. “So we wanted to target that as a way to get in touch with the most at-risk population that we’re working with.” As a result, Greener Pathways, or the Mobile Outreach Program of Twin County Recovery Services, Inc., will be available at the Philmont Community Center every Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. Quinn said the organizations' greatest hope is "...that people will come in and say they know someone who needs help or say I want to get help myself.” Mayor Brian Johnson said, “When I got elected mayor, one of my goals was to curb some of the drug use in Philmont. So we asked Greener Pathways to come in and set up at the community center.” Narcan and Fentanyl test strips will be available at the center for anyone who wants or needs them, Quinn said. “Really, this is just another way for us to try and connect with people in the community, who maybe won’t want to come to our office or don’t want to go to the Twin Counties Clinic in Hudson,” Quinn said. Fentanyl test strips allow a person to determine if their supply contains the synthetic opioid used for treating severe pain. Johnson said, “What we’re actually trying to do is instead of getting these people arrested or in trouble, we’re trying to get them some help.” The village wants it known that help is available, he said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.