MAYVILLE, N.Y. - An increase in drug overdoses, and drug overdose deaths, are being reported in communities across the nation during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Such an increase is also occurring in Chautauqua County. Tragically, 45 overdoses, including two fatalities, occurred during the month of March. As of April 22, 14 overdoses have been reported, including 3 fatalities. In 2019, the average number of overdoses in one month was 19.
In response, the Chautauqua Substance Abuse Response Partnership is urging county residents struggling with addiction to seek treatment, advising them that “Now is the Time.” Now is the time to seek help, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), for several reasons:
- Deadly amounts of fentanyl have been present in the local drug supply;
- Financial, social, psychological, and physical stresses of living through a pandemic increase risk; and
- Access to treatment, including MAT, has never been easier.
Outpatient clinics across the county are working to make access to treatment available for anyone in need, including those for whom travel to a clinic is a barrier. Telehealth options for medication and for counseling are available through The Resource Center, The Chautauqua Center, UPMC Chautauqua, the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene, and the TLC Health Network. Contact and other information can be found at CombatAddictionCHQ.com.
“Now really is the time for anyone struggling with an addiction and/or emotional pain to seek help through one of the outpatient behavioral health clinics throughout the county,” said Pat Brinkman, Chautauqua County Community Mental Hygiene Services Director. “The risks and dangers of these days are great, but so too are the options for help.”
The Chautauqua County Crisis Hotline, 1-800-724-0461, is available if you are experiencing a personal crisis or are in emotional distress.