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Fentanyl-related deaths in Monroe County rising; county offers training

Monroe County is offering new ways to train people in preventing and counteracting overdoses from heroin and other opioids. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Monroe County is offering new ways to train people in preventing and counteracting overdoses from heroin and other opioids.

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo outlined some of that training at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

In conjunction with those new ways of preventing overdoses, the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office released data on opioid-related deaths in the county, including the number of people who died in the first six months of 2017 due to opioid-related overdoses.

From January 1 through June 30, 2017, 115 people died over opioid overdoses. Of those deaths, 95 happened in Monroe County and 20 happened outside of the county. In all of 2016, 206 people died over opioid overdoses, according to data provided by the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

These deaths are ones in which the primary cause of death is attributed to heroin, morphine, fentanyl, U-47700 or a combination of at least one or more of these substances.

Of those deaths, fentanyl was related to 101 of the deaths. In 2016, 71 people died due to an overdose linked to fentanyl. Heroin was linked to 46 deaths, U-47700 caused 11 and nine were related to morphine. The numbers for 2016 were roughly similar for heroin, U-47700 and morphine. In several cases, multiple substances were detected, which is why the number of deaths does not directly match up to the number of cases in which these substances were listed as a cause of death.

The 2018 Monroe County budget will provide funding to hire two more toxicologists for the Medical Examiner's Office.

Every six months, the M.E.'s Office will be issuing data tracking overdose deaths due to various substances. A full-year report for 2017 will be made available later this year.

The Narcan training is being given to towns, cities and villages that wants to have their employees and workers ready in case of an emergency. The town of Greece is already partnering with the county to train its town workforce. Several towns and villages will be scheduling sessions in the near future, Dinolfo said.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a nasal spray that can be administered to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose.

Twenty Narcan nasal spray response kits were given to the town to keep on hand in case of an overdose.

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo also released a training video to help educate people about preventing and counteracting overdoses.

The Department of Public Health is also offering free opioid overdose prevention training sessions on the fourth Wednesday of the month, both in the morning and evening. This will be held at the Department of Human Services on Westfall Rd.

Anyone looking to register for a session can do so here.

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