MAYVILLE, N.Y.:-- A multi-agency partnership of prevention, treatment, and recovery providers, led by the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene, is making progress in addressing the opioid crisis in Chautauqua County. The Chautauqua Substance Abuse Response Partnership (CSARP) was established under a Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) grant awarded to the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene. The RCORP implementation grant is a $1 million multi-year initiative supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to address barriers to access in rural communities related to substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder.
“The Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene is glad to lead the activities of the Chautauqua Substance Abuse Response Partnership,” said Patricia Brinkman, Chautauqua County Community Mental Hygiene Services Director. “This project, supported by HRSA grant funds, will further support the collaborative work to combat the opioid crisis in the County.”
CSARP is comprised of representatives from the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene, the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services, The Chautauqua Center, Prevention Works (formerly CASAC), Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, UPMC Chautauqua, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, Chautauqua County Health Network, The Resource Center, and Evergreen Health.
“Chautauqua County benefits from the great work of many agencies, government departments, and individuals throughout our county who, in a variety of ways, are actively addressing addiction,” said Steve Kilburn, HRSA Grant Director at the Chautauqua Country Department of Mental Hygiene. “Because of these grants from HSRA, we are able to strengthen those efforts and collaborate even more strategically in our common goal of preventing addiction, reducing overdoses, and offering help and healing to those affected by this crisis.”
Overdose deaths declined in Chautauqua County in 2018 for the first time since 2012, with at least a 30 percent reduction in fatal overdoses occurring from 2017 to 2018. Chautauqua County residents benefit from the availability of a wide range of treatment services. Outpatient clinics and inpatient rehabs operate in both the northern and southern portions of the county. Utilization of treatment has been increasing. In 2018, almost 30 percent more county residents received treatment for opioid use than in 2016. Medication assisted treatment is available from providers across the county. A new, long-term residential program has recently opened at UPMC Chautauqua. Peer support services through the Mental Health Association (MHA) in Chautauqua are now available in both Jamestown and Dunkirk.
Using data specific to Chautauqua County, CSARP is working on further strategies to continue these efforts. The Peer Response project, a partnership of the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services and the MHA, reaches out to individuals who have overdosed to offer support and referrals. This project began in Jamestown and will be expanding throughout the whole of Chautauqua County. Other strategies include increasing the number of medical providers in the county offering medication assisted treatment to patients with opioid use disorder (OUD), creating more supports for persons in recovery to find and keep employment, and continuing to expand naloxone availability to reverse overdoses.
“There is much more to be done, but real progress is being made thanks to the many, many individuals throughout Chautauqua County who are working hard to make prevention, treatment, and recovery a reality for our county,” said Kilburn.
Two Combat Addiction CHQ community events will be held on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 featuring speaker Robert MacKenzie, who is the Chief of Police in Kennebunk, Maine. Both events are hosted by the Chautauqua Substance Abuse Response Partnership to engage and educate the community about the activities and findings of the grant. One event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, 10 Dunham Ave. in Celoron, N.Y. and the second event will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the JCC North Training and Conference Center, 10785 Bennett Rd. in Dunkirk, N.Y.
For more information and to register for each event, please find the event pages on facebook.com/CHQMH or call Annie at (716) 753-4516.