Outreach issues report on NYC opioid addiction
by Benjamin Fang
Jul 17, 2017 | 1527 views | 0 0 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A new report issued by the drug and alcohol treatment agency Outreach shows the growing rate of local opioid abuse over the last decade.

The agency, with locations in Greenpoint, Richmond Hill and Long Island, said more needs to be done to address the growing crisis.

“There is so much that is not being done,” said Beth Covelli, senior manager of outpatient services for Outreach. “There’s a desperate need for more prevention services, more treatment across all age groups, and continued pressure on government to make these services available via public and private partnerships.”

According to the report, New York’s heroin overdose death rate has equaled or exceeded the national rate every year since 2006. Treatment admission rates for both heroin and opioid abuse have gone up among all New Yorkers ages 12 and up.

In New York, white men ages 21 to 30 have had the highest treatment admission rates for heroin and opioid use, according to the organization.

In Suffolk County, 337 people died from heroin overdose from 2009 to 2013. In 2016 alone, that number jumped to 236, the report said.

Overdose deaths in New York City have also seen a significant spike. The number exceeded 1,000 in 2016, the first time that’s ever happened. Outreach officials said the rise of Fentanyl is a big factor in the increase.

The report provided a number of recommendations, including reducing the number of new opioid abusers and increasing awareness about treatment programs to current users.

The group also recommended the use of medications such as methadone or buprenorphine in addition to traditional counseling and behavioral therapies.

“To say the effects on families are devastating is such an understatement,” said John Venza, vice president of adolescent services at Outreach. “It’s critical that we expand the work done at Outreach to solve addiction problems, not with single-pronged approaches, but also with family counseling, education, vocational work and job placement.

“Only when we are able to take our kids off the streets and set them on the path to new environments and lives with specific goals will we be able to stem the tide of addiction,” he added.
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