April 18, 2019

Oneida County Ups the Ante in Opiate Fight

News Photo

Overdose Response Team Utilizing Wide-Ranging Arsenal in Attack

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. was joined today by partners from law enforcement, health and mental health agencies to discuss the current state of the opiate crisis and outline the multi-pronged approach that is being taken by the Oneida County Overdose Response Team to attack the epidemic head on.

“The opiate epidemic is running rampant all across the nation, and we here in Oneida County have felt the havoc it has wreaked firsthand,” Picente said. “Like in all matters, this government has refused to sit back as the families of our community are ravaged by the suffering and loss it has unleashed. Through our Overdose Response Team and the utilization of the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, we now have multiple weapons in our arsenal to identify overdoses in real time and rapidly respond to any crisis situation and provide opiate abusers and their families with the care, services and support they need.”

The Oneida County Overdose Response Team is a multi-sector subgroup of the Oneida County Opiate Task Force with the primary goal of using surveillance data to reduce overdose injuries and fatal drug overdoses in Oneida County by:

  • Implementing its Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) to capture and monitor accurate and real-time confirmed overdoses from law enforcement.
  • Establishing a 24/7 peer referral process to dispatch Certified Peer Recovery Advocates (CRPAs) to overdose victims identified in ODMAP to help link them to treatment and recovery services.
  • Monitoring ODMAP surveillance data to identify spikes and develop and disseminate coordinated public health alerts to reduce injury or death from overdoses and to mobilize resources and a coordinated response from community members and community partners to address the threat.

Oneida County is one of 27 counties in the state to use ODMAP, a tool only available to local, state, federal and tribal government agencies serving the interests of public safety and health. It gives the Overdose Response Team the ability to:

  • Provide near real-time suspected overdose surveillance data across jurisdictions to support a collaborative law enforcement and public health effort to mobilize an immediate response to a sudden increase, or spike in overdose events.
  • Directly connect to overdose victims.
  • Support a strategic analysis of overdoses locally, across jurisdictions and nationwide.

ODMAP surveillance data is collected at the Mohawk Valley Crime Analysis Center (MVCAC) at the Utica Police Department and is utilized across many platforms in a multitude of ways including:

  • Emergency Medical Services: To be aware of patterns to improve safety and preparation and determine the amount of naloxone and resource information to carry.
  • Law Enforcement: To report overdoses, assess cross-jurisdictional impact, increase law enforcement presence and determine the amount of naloxone and resource information to carry.
  • OASAS-Certified Peer Specialists: To establish peer referral process, connect treatment and resources and provide ongoing recovery support.
  • Public Health: To enlist peer recovery providers, conduct public health data surveillance and provide public and community partner education.
  • Hospital Emergency Departments: To plan for educating at emergency room discharge, contact peer specialists, expedite connections to treatment services and provide bridge scripts.
  • Community & Support Groups: To foster information sharing to individuals in recovery and their families and assist in peer outreach to high-risk populations.
  • High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area/MVCAC: To compile and analyze overdose data and to submit overdose reports to public health, mental health and peer specialists.
  • District Attorney & Probation: To make referrals to peers, support Drug Court diversion activities and share information regarding resources.
  • Emergency Management: To identify cross-jurisdictional impact and communicate risks to first responders.
  • Mental Health Providers: To identify treatment resources available, assess capacity/need and gaps in services and share information.

ODMAP was first utilized last month when it detected 21 heroin overdoses over a 10-day span that resulted in five fatalities, primarily in the cities of Utica and Rome. The information led to a spike alert being issued by the Overdose Response Team and enabled a coordinated response effort that was praised by the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA Program ODMAP. The Overdose Response team has been invited to present its efforts at the HIDTA national monthly webinar in May.

“Having this tool at our disposal is an enormous advantage to Oneida County,” Picente added. “In the short amount of time it has been in place, ODMAP has already paid huge dividends, and the manner in which we have utilized it for surveillance, peer follow-up, spike alerting and community action has made us a model for the entire state.”

Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol: “Day in and day out my office sees the impact the opiate epidemic has on this community. It’s a devastating situation that, as I’ve said many times before, we cannot arrest our way out of. It takes a collaborative group of dedicated individuals like we have with the Oneida County Overdose Response Team to deliver a holistic approach and coordinated attack.”

Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara: “The Oneida County Overdose Response Team and ODMAP are setting our county apart in the war on opioids. Together with our partners, my office will work to find innovative ways to deal with this destructive problem while continuing to go hard at the drug dealers who perpetuate these tragic deaths.”

NYNJ HIDTA Director Chauncey Parker: “The New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area is a federal grant program that invests in law enforcement partnerships to build safe and healthy communities. We are very proud to work with our great public health and public safety partners in Oneida County to implement ODMAP, an invaluable resource which helps to reduce overdoses and save lives.”

Nicole Cozza-Siriano, clinical service coordinator for the Addiction Stabilization Center at the Rescue Mission of Utica:The Rescue Mission of Utica in collaboration with the Oneida County Overdose Response Team, will make every effort to meet the needs of the opiate crisis “We have long-standing experience and are dedicated to help the community with all efforts to battle this epidemic. This strongly affects our community and the Rescue Mission of Utica will continue to reach out and save lives. We have peers that have been extensively trained, with firsthand knowledge, compassion and dedication to the population that we serve.”

Additional information and materials:

Opioid Issue & ODMAP Initiative

Community Agencies Response to Spike Alert Survey Results

Overdose Response Team Diagram

Visor Clip for Police Officers

ODMAP Dashboard

PHOTO CAPTION (L-R): Nicole Cozza-Siriano, Clinical Service Coordinator of the Addiction Stabilization Center at the Rescue Mission of Utica; Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri; Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Stacey Scotti; Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.; Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol; Edward Beach, NY-NJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Senior Drug Intelligence Officer; Oneida County Director of Health Phyllis Ellis; and Ermelindo Laracuente Jr., HIDTA Drug Intelligence Officer

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Oneida County Partners