Ulster County has an issue with alcohol and drug abuse, and it cannot be overlooked or ignored. It includes the use of drugs and alcohol by its youth and the opioid epidemic, which is very present in Ulster County. But, the county also has substance abuse prevention programs, to help those who have not yet fallen in the trap of addiction stay out of it, and drug treatment services, for those who are already suffering from it and need help.
Youth Substance Abuse in Ulster County, NY
Substance abuse in anyone is a very concerning thing, but when it is misused or abused by young people, especially minors, it is extremely disturbing. Their bodies have not yet finished developing, and they are using substances that alter their brain functions. It is extremely dangerous. In 2017, 27.2% of adolescents of Ulster County reported using alcohol in the past 30 days before they were surveyed, 5% for heroin, and 19% for marijuana. All these substances can cause devastating effects on an individual, yet they are being used by people under the age of 18. This is cause for great concern.
Ulster County’s Opioid Addiction Problem
The opioid epidemic is a crisis that is not only distressing, but it is a problem that is present all throughout the nation, and that, unfortunately, includes Ulster County. 2018 was very devastating for the county. In that year, there were 146 emergency department visits and 33 hospitalizations due to opioid overdoses. And, unfortunately, if someone overdoses on opioids and is not cared for immediately, what can occur is death. In Ulster County, there were 56 lives lost in 2018, each caused by an opioid overdose, all of these statistics per 100 000 population. This is a very high death rate if we compare it to other counties in New York State.
Opioid Prevention Task Force of Ulster County
As we’ve covered, the opioid epidemic is definitely an issue that we need to put attention on. This is why the Ulster County Opioid Prevention Task Force (UCOPTF) was implemented. It is a coalition that is conducting an examination of the opioid issue in these areas: reducing the supply of opioids, reducing their demand, and improving the quality of recovery and treatment services for those who wish to get help for their opioid addiction. This is all done so they can create a plan to reduce the number of opioid overdoses and deaths caused by them. Their website is there to keep the general public informed of their activities and progress.
Ulster Prevention Council
The Ulster Prevention Council (UPC) was created in 2006, and they serve as a resource and training center and they provide workshops, assistance in schools. They also hold conferences and presentations in classes, to families and youth, and community groups. The UPC implements the Too Good for Drugs program in the schools of Ulster County. The program consists of activities and games that bring about healthier decision making in the students. It is essentially a 10-week curriculum that teaches them how to make better decisions, how to communicate better, how to resolve conflicts, and how to resist substance abuse and peer pressure. It is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school.
STOP-DWI Program in Ulster County, NY
The STOP-DWI program’s goal is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by alcohol and/or drug-related traffic crashes. To avoid using any taxpayer dollar, this program is fully funded by fines that are paid by individuals convicted of offenses for driving while intoxicated. With the funding they get, they implement several programs, and one of them is the DWI Impact Panel, where those who have been victims of DWIs the chance to share their stories and reach out to those who have committed these offenses, in the hopes that they learn from their mistake and do not repeat it.
Here is a list of the different treatment centers in Ulster County, New York. The list can be incomplete so please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.