MONTICELLO, NY — In a proactive response to the national opioid epidemic, Sullivan County’s 911 Center and Public Health Services have joined forces to precisely track local overdoses. …
MONTICELLO, NY — In a proactive response to the national opioid epidemic, Sullivan County’s 911 Center and Public Health Services have joined forces to precisely track local overdoses. Provided by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, the mapping system was launched on September 1, the day after International Overdose Awareness Day.
“We’re using a nationwide database called ODMAP to collect statistics from each overdose call answered by participating EMS crews,” said public safety commissioner Rick Sauer. “This includes the age and gender of the victim, the suspected drug, if naloxone (Narcan) was administered, and whether the overdose was fatal or not.”
“We are not asking for and will not collect personally identifiable information,” added 911 coordinator Alex Rau. “The privacy of the individuals and families involved will not be breached by this program.”
“ODMAP’s data will be used as a valuable tool in our ongoing battle against overdoses and drug addiction,” said public health director Nancy McGraw. “This real-time information will allow us to more quickly identify and address issues—for example, a sudden spike in overdoses, a deadlier variant in the opioid supply, or areas where overdoses are more frequent than elsewhere.”
“We cannot afford to slow down our efforts to protect residents, our loved ones and neighbors from this addiction crisis,” remarked District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz, chair of the legislature’s Health & Family Services Committee. “Sullivan County has one of the highest rankings for drug abuse in the state, as well as one of the lowest health rankings. Therefore, we must use whatever new resource is available to combat this disease.”
“It’s fitting Sullivan County debuts this powerful tool in tandem with International Overdose Awareness Day,” said District 5 Legislator Terri Ward, chair of the legislature’s Public Safety Committee. “This testifies to our serious intent, and I am proud of and grateful for the caring team that proactively initiated this mapping system. I hope all our emergency services providers participate and that, as a result, we realize our goal of having a healthier, safer county.”
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on the 31st of August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of opioid dependence. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
Sullivan County Public Health Services maintains an addiction referral line at 866/832-5575.