DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- As the opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities across the country, locally, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro will shine a spotlight on the stigma associated with the crisis during his budget presentation on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
While Dutchess County government has taken an aggressive and collaborative approach to combatting this epidemic - from prevention education to accessible drug drop boxes, NARCAN training, 24/7 crisis and support services, Medication Assisted Treatment to Drug Task Force raids and enforcement efforts - barriers still exist to fully addressing this epidemic, Molinaro said.
One of those barriers is the stigma around addiction and mental illness that still exists in our society, Molinaro will discuss how Dutchess County is "Breaking Through" to stomp out the stigma too often associated with mental illness and addiction, adding resources to the county’s critical 24/7 intervention services, and providing hope and help to those struggling, as well as those who love them.
"Each of us, whether we realize it or not, knows someone struggling with mental illness or the demons of addiction. We are losing too many in our community because so many are silent about their struggle, ” said Molinaro. “Dutchess County is prepared to take a radical approach to address this epidemic, adding needed resources to assist people. But for those resources to be effective, we must be committed to ‘Breaking Through’ the stigma and be willing to set the judgment aside and move beyond shame to help and hope.”
To highlight the crisis, Molinaro points to the number of deaths -- In Dutchess, the number of accidental opioid deaths increased from 36 deaths in 2010 to 63 deaths in 2016, with 64 lives lost already this year.
To connect or learn more about any of services aimed at helping residents battling opioid addiction, call or text Dutchess County HELPLINE at (845) 485-9700.
Molinaro will present the budget at 11 a.m. in the Legislature Chambers.
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