The Broome County Health Department has seen an increase in overdoses to date in 2022 compared to numbers in the previous year.
For the first quarter of 2022 there has been 21suspected fatal overdoses and 147 reported non-fatal overdoses. These numbers are up since the previous; in 2021 Broome County reported a total of 54 total suspected fatal overdoses and 516 reported non-fatal overdoses. The Broome Opioid Awareness Council (BOAC) encourages those with a substance use disorder to practice harm reduction strategies, to not use alone, have a Narcan kit available, subscribe for the Spike Auto Text Program, use fentanyl test strips, and if you are on the site of an overdose call 911.
Marissa Knapp, Broome County’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator and Chair of BOAC, said, “The Health Department will continue to update the community on overdose numbers quarterly. A big part of my job is to decrease stigma surrounding substance use disorders and start conversations about Harm Reduction and help community members and families to understand that it’s never too soon or too late to get help. We need to meet people with a substance use disorder where they are.”
One example of these intervention is the Spike Auto Text program, which alerts community members, professionals, and loved ones via text when there is an increase in overdoses. Individuals can sign up for the anonymous pilot program by texting SPIKE to 1(855)963-5669 (855-9-OD-KNOW) and follow the prompts.
Both in person and virtual Narcan trainings are offered throughout the county. Having Narcan on site can save lives during an overdose. Community resources of free Narcan trainings are:
- The Addiction Center of Broome County: 30 State Street, Binghamton, NY, 13901. (607) 723- 7308.
- Helio Health: 249 Glenwood Road, Binghamton, NY, 13905. (607) 296-3072.
- Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP): 277 Main Street, Johnson City, NY, 13790. (607) 237-0497
- Truth Pharm: 49 Pine Street, Suite 6, Binghamton, NY, 13901. (607) 296-3016.
- United Health Services (UHS): (607) 762-2200. For UHS Addiction Medicine, call (607) 762-2901.
You can simply call, text, reach out on Facebook or send an email and you will be connected with a staff member who will ask you a few questions and set up a training or train you on the spot. The Broome County Health Department would also like to remind those of the “Good Samaritan Law” which protects all involved when seeking assistance regarding a possible overdose.
BOAC also wants to remind those who use substances about the Never Use Alone hotline- simply call 1-800-997-2280 and speak to someone judgement free. Fentanyl test strips are also available in Broome County. Community members can reach out to 2-1-1 for more information on how to get the fentanyl test strips.
For more information and where to find phone numbers visit : http://www.gobroomecounty.com/boac.