Niagara County’s problem with substance abuse has been present and going on for a while now. It has issues with not only the abuse of alcohol and drugs generally, but it also has been suffering from the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic for a while now. But, there are also many drug rehab services that can help either prevent addiction before it happens or treat it appropriately if one is sadly already addicted. These services include outpatient and residential programs, treatment for men, transitional housing, addiction meetings, and programs for our veterans.
Niagara County’s Opioid Epidemic
The opioid epidemic is prevalent throughout the whole United States. Just in 2018, 808 000 people used heroin, and 81 000 of them used it for the first time. Niagara County has not been spared of this crisis. There were 164 emergency department visits related to opioid overdoses in 2018 and 31 hospitalizations. And, unfortunately, there were 40 deaths caused by an opioid overdose in that same year, all of these statistics being per 100 000 population. These numbers have gone down from the year 2017, which is good, but they are still very high, so we can definitely see that the opioid epidemic is still causing a great deal of damage in Niagara County.
Substance Abuse in Niagara County, NY
We’ve covered the opioid epidemic, but we must say that substance abuse as a whole is a big issue in Niagara County. And what can sometimes happen when someone misuses alcohol or drugs is that they take too much of it, or they mix substances that don’t go together, and this is what causes an overdose, and sometimes even death. For the past few years, the number of overdoses in Niagara County was very high. In 2016, there were 267 overdoses and 15 fatalities, and in 2017, there were 339 overdoses and 31 fatalities. And data was collected for 2018 as of March 13th, 2018, and there were already at over 400 overdoses and 35 fatalities. What’s most alarming is that the rate is not going down, it actually keeps rising each and every year.
Rural Niagara Community Coalition
Prevention is an important part of reducing substance abuse. The Rural Niagara Community Coalition’s objective is to help with that. They have many values, which include empowerment, community, acceptance, collaboration, teamwork, and also the concept that “everyone has valued”. They work to provide more access to programs for substance abuse prevention, mental wellness, etc. One of their plans is to do a survey among its rural youth, to help guide them in their next projects and initiatives to fight substance abuse.