The Finger Lakes Times (Monday, September 18) published an article on the Finger Lakes Area Counceling & Recovering Agency (FLACRA) recent $1.4 million in federal funds to combat the Opioid crisis. The article starts, “Sixteen counties in New York have been called the most severely affected in the state when it comes to the heroin and opioid crisis, Unfortunately, Yates and Ontario counties are on that list.”
The chart below is one set of data from the New York State County Opioid Quarterly Report (July 2017). The report has two pages of data for each county in NYS dealing with our heroin and opioid crisis, including hospitalizations and deaths. This chart shows the number of overdoses for the past two years, and what it would be if there were 100,000 people in each county.
The data raises many questions. Why would Yates County has a rating of 87.8 overdoses per 100,000 people when neighboring Schuyler County has less than half of that? Why would Cattaraugus and neigboring Chautauqua couinties have such different 2016 ratings? Why did number of Cattaraugus overdose rating jump from 46/100,000 to 70/100,000 in one year? Notice that Tompkins County’s overdoses doubled i a year!
This data should be driving the direction that County Legislature (including the Sheriff Departments) steer their policies.
The grant came from the Opioid State Targeted Response-Centers of Treatment Innovation Initiative, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. My understanding is that funding for heroin and opioid was going to be cut in the first two TrumpCare proposals that failed to become law. I have to assume the newest proposal will not be friendly to this problem. If the newest last-ditch proposal passes in the Senate, it will need go to the House for approval. Now is the time to contact Rep. Tom Reed to let him know that our district needs more funding to “care” for our residents, not less.
Reed’s Office Phone Numbers
- Washington (202) 225-3161
- Corning (607) 654-7566
- Geneva (315)-759-5229
- Ithaca (607) 222-2027
- Jamestown (716)-708-6369
- Olean (716)-379-8434