Picente Updates Heroin Overdose Alert Response

Oneida County Partners Take Action; Situation Stabilized

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. announced today that the steps taken by the County’s Overdose Response Team and its partners have resulted in a stabilization of the recent heroin overdose spike.

The Oneida County Overdose Response Team issued an alert on Monday after Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) data collected at the Mohawk Valley Crime Analysis Center located at the Utica Police Department determined that 21 heroin overdoses occurred over the past 10 days in Utica and Rome, resulting in five fatalities.

“Since the alert was issued, the number of overdoses has dropped and we are no longer in a spike situation,” Picente said. “Our Oneida County Overdose Response Team took quick and concise action working hand-in-hand with law enforcement and our community health and service providers to notify the public of this crisis and offer services to stem the severity of the problem. I want to commend everyone involved for their tremendous efforts.”

The Oneida County Health Department pushed out the overdose spike alert to multiple community agencies, coalitions, OCHD staff and hospitals, and all were encouraged to share, distribute and notify clients and networks. The alert was also posted on the county’s social media platforms.

The county Health Department also:

  • Pulled together data on the five fatalities and initiated outreach to the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the status of toxicology reports.
  • Worked with the county Mental Health Department and 2-1-1 to update information regarding opioid services including Narcan availability and pharmacies with standing orders for Narcan.

Oneida County’s community partners also took action, including:

  • The Rescue Mission of Utica’s Addiction Stabilization Center engaged six of those who overdosed with inpatient and outpatient services and handed out Narcan and distributed information to multiple families with active addicts. The organization will also be hiring an extra full-time peer counselor within the next week.
  • Insight House Chemical Dependency Services, Inc. sent out an invitation for a free Narcan training session for the public.
  • Valley Family Health Center in Herkimer extended invitation to free Narcan training at their facility.
  • Conifer Park in Glenville reached out to Oneida County partners to make a detox bed available to offer transportation services.
  • 2-1-1 began a comprehensive list that distinguishes organizations providing opioid services in greater detail to ensure that people get the right referral at their first inquiry

The action taken by the Oneida County Overdose Response Team was praised by the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program ODMAP and the team has been invited to present on its efforts at the HIDTA national monthly webinar in May.

The Oneida County Overdose Response Team is a subgroup of the County’s Opiate/Heroin Task Force. The team was established to address the opioid/heroin overdose crisis in Oneida County. The goals of the team are to use ODMAP surveillance data to reduce the number of people dying from drug overdoses and reduce the number of fatal overdoses.