The number of overdoses in Greene County is on the rise, according to an alert from the Greene County Public Health Department.
“We have seen a spike in the number of suspected overdoses in Greene County,” according to the county health department. “If you or a loved one is in active addiction, you are encouraged to take the following precautions: If you must use, use safely or seek help for your addiction; have access to Narcan and know how to use it; let a friend or loved one know where you are, never use alone.”
Four people suffered overdoses last week, Greener Pathways Program Director Carl Quinn said, adding that all of the patients were revived with Narcan.
Two of the overdoses were reported on Feb. 9, a third Feb. 10 and the fourth Feb. 12, Quinn said. Three of the cases occurred in Catskill. The other was reported in Cairo.
State police handled two heroin overdoses in the month of February in Greene County, state police Public Information Officer Steven Nevel said.
Three of the cases involved heroin, Quinn said, adding that he did not know what substance was involved in the fourth overdose.
“When we are notified of a spike, we step up our monitoring of the OD Map program,” Quinn said. “We also reach out to our clients and offer additional support and services. We make sure they are OK and using safely.”
If circumstances for a client have changed and they have decided to stop using, Greener Pathways helps put them in touch with the desired treatment option, Quinn said.
“Our mobile clinic is always available,” he said. “We were not requested to respond to this spike.”
Greener Pathways has responded to previous spikes in Columbia County to provide Narcan training, he said.
Quinn believes this spike was more spread out in terms of both time and location, which is why a response was not requested.
“The last spike in Columbia County, there were four or five in one night and the next morning,” he said.
In the Twin Counties in 2017 there were 90 opioid- and heroin-related deaths and 967 opioid- and heroin-related hospitalizations, according to columbiagreeneaddictioncoalition.org.
In July 2019, Greene County had about twice as many overdoses as Columbia County for the year to date.
“We have had 30 suspected overdoses in Greene County in 2019 and 16 in Columbia County,” Columbia-Greene Addiction and Recovery Coordinator Danielle Hotaling said.
Data for the remainder of 2019 were not available Monday.
Greener Pathways’ mobile clinic will be at Columbia-Greene Community College from 1-4 p.m. on Thursday. On Feb. 24 the mobile clinic will be at Hannaford in Cairo from 1-4 p.m.
In addition to Narcan kits, which are provided to adults after completing a mandatory training, the clinic also offers medication-assisted treatment (Buprenorphine); free Hepatitis C; HIV and STI screenings; free condoms and Plan B; access to clean needles and harm reduction supplies; food and care bags which include items such as water, granola bars, chapstick and a blanket; and assistance getting health insurance, according to the website.