MAYVILLE, N.Y.: Communities across the US continue to experience high rates of drug overdose and overdose fatalities. Officials in Chautauqua County are alerting the community of the dangers of illicit drug use while also reminding the public of the multiple local resources available to address this ongoing public health crisis.
County Executive PJ Wendel said, “Fentanyl, a powerful and deadly opioid, continues to be found in street drugs of all kinds and continues to cause overdose and death in our communities. At the same time, numerous individuals and agencies throughout our county are working to combat addiction and reduce drug overdoses, and we are grateful for their life-saving efforts.”
Help for individuals struggling with substance use is available in many forms in Chautauqua County, including:
- Free naloxone (Narcan®), a nasal spray medication that reverses opioid overdoses;
- Free fentanyl test strips;
- Initiation of buprenorphine treatment, a medication used for opioid addiction, through the WNY Opioid Addiction Treatment Hotline;
- Licensed outpatient clinics providing counseling and medication-assisted treatment;
- Peer support services;
- Inpatient rehab and residential services;
- Harm reduction services
Steve Kilburn, Grant Projects Director at the county’s Department of Mental Hygiene, said, “Chautauqua County has many services and providers for individuals and families struggling with addiction. Details and contact information for these resources can be found at CombatAddictionCHQ.com.” Kilburn also stated that the Chautauqua County Crisis Hotline (1-800-724-0461) provides free confidential assistance, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by behavioral health professionals.
County officials remind the public that New York State’s Good Samaritan Law provides protections from charge and prosecution for drug and alcohol possession for an overdose victim and those who seek help during an overdose. They also note that there are no legal restrictions or implications for carrying naloxone and they encourage county residents to have this life-saving medication on hand.