ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s a stat no one is proud of. “2020 was the deadliest year,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “The deadliest year in Onondaga County. This year is on pace to beat last year’s tragic record.”
“It’s definitely been quite concerning to see the number of overdose deaths increase over the last couple of years,” said Crouse Health’s Addiction Treatment Services Director Monika Taylor. “I really do think the COVID pandemic has exacerbated the number of overdose deaths.”
Tuesday, Attorney General Letitia James said counties would receive funds from lawsuits against big pharma to address substance abuse. It’s estimated Onondaga County and Syracuse could get between $7,509,074.79 – $13,146,928.49.
Although it’s unclear how the funds would be distributed, Taylor said they could help fill open positions.
“One challenge for us is that we often can’t have competitive enough salaries to attract a competent workforce,” Taylor explained.
Taylor said the money can help fund innovative treatment services, transportation to programs as well as more naloxone training. Since the pandemic isn’t over yet, Taylor said the center is making adjustments to ensure patients get what they need. Most of their services are in person with participants following social distancing guidelines. They are screened for COVID symptoms.
“We’re also doing some hybrid groups. So some patients might be here in person in the treatment in the facility while others are joining remotely,” Taylor added.