In Monroe County, 262 opioid overdoses in 90 days
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - On average, there are three people who overdose on heroin or another form of opioid in Monroe County each day.
The Monroe County Heroin Task Force released a report Tuesday painting a stark portrait of opioid use and risk in Monroe County. Clusters of overdoses are centered in the Rochester area, but push outward to surrounding towns and villages from Honeoye Falls to Hilton.
From January 1 through March 31, there were 262 reported overdoses across the county. Forty-two of those overdoses resulted in people's deaths. In the month of March alone, 85 people overdosed on an opioid; of those, 12 died.
The average age of a person who died of a heroin overdose is 36.
Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter partnered with a wealth of agencies to oversee this collaboration, including Monroe County, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, Monroe Crime Analysis Center, Monroe County Public Safety Office, Rochester Police, Gates Police and Ogden Police, detailed a 60-day progress report on the Monroe County Heroin Task Force Opioid Command Post and released March 2018 and Q1 2018 opioid overdose statistics.
Several other agencies and non-profits work with the task force to provide resources within the critical first 24-36 hours of an opioid-related incident.
“While we have made significant progress and led many addicts and their families to valuable resources to begin the road to recovery, there is still much work to be done,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter. “The opioid crisis affects all of us; our families, our neighbors, our church communities, our friends. This epidemic is taking our loved ones from us in record numbers."
Sheriff Baxter had an added message for those he says are responsible for dealing this poison: We are coming for you.
"The homicides taking place in our community will not be tolerated," Baxter said. "You will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
A series of raids and search warrants since February 1 of this year have resulted in 20 arrests and the seizure of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, LSD/Designer pills, guns and cash.
According to the report released Tuesday, 13 search warrants resulted in 99 LSD pills, 56.06 grams of cocaine, 3.23 grams of crack cocaine, 120.57 grams of heroin, two rifles and two handguns, and $17,025 in cash being seized.
The Sheriff's Office has been training every county, town, village, and SUNY officer in how to work effectively with the task force, using naloxone or Narcan, packaging of powder and crystalline evidence, and community resources for addicts and their loved ones. Deputies are also helping to move the conversation forward with school district counselors and education programming at recreation centers and summer programs.
“Our task is three-fold. We are working to educate the public in order to prevent people from using opioids and becoming addicted," said Lt. Andrew DeLyser, Opioid Command Post Incident Commander. "We provide outreach in order to put people who are struggling with addiction disorder in touch with the detox and recovery services that are available in our community. Finally, we conduct drug investigations targeting the dealers who are selling the opioids that are plaguing our community."
Sheriff Baxter said Recovery Now NY, S.O.A.R.S., Recovery Support Navigator, Monroe County Mental Health Dept., and Rochester Regional Health have been immensely helpful in their training.