(WBNG) — The Broome County Health Department says over the past week, opioid overdoses have been on the rise in the county and officials aren’t sure what’s causing this sudden surge.
Health officials say they began to become aware of the rise in overdoses after an increase in opioid-related 9-1-1 calls in the county, as well as outreach from local grassroots organizations.
The executive director of one of those organizations, Truth Pharm, says treating addicts like the people they are makes a big difference in their lives.
“Believe it or not, the community showing compassion to people who use drugs also changes things for people who use drugs. It makes them know that their life matters,” said Alexis Pleus, who started the organization after losing her son to a heroin overdose.
Health officials did say there are several steps you can take to minimize your risk of overdosing:
- Never use opioids alone
- Learn how to use Narcan or other brands of Naloxone, the drug that reverses opioid overdoses, and carry a kit with you at all times
- Familiarize yourself with the community resources available to help break the cycle of addiction
The county is holding a Narcan training session along with community partners on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. at 447 West State Street.
For more information on the different resources available to users who would like to stop, click here.