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Hudson Valley News

Ulster County Exec Declares Public Health Emergency Due To Overdose Deaths

(From left to right) Undersheriff Eric Benjamin, District Attorney David Clegg and County Executive Pat Ryan
Courtesy of the Office of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan
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(From left to right) Undersheriff Eric Benjamin, District Attorney David Clegg and County Executive Pat Ryan

In New York, the Ulster County executive has declared a public health emergency due to recent spikes in fentanyl-related deaths. Fentanyl is 50-times more potent than heroin.

Democratic County Executive Pat Ryan announced the emergency Monday, which was International Overdose Awareness Day. He says from January through July this year, opioid-related deaths increased 171 percent compared to the same period in 2019. And fentanyl-related deaths increased from 58 percent of all opioid-related deaths in 2018 to 89 percent of all opioid-related deaths from January through July this year. To combat this crisis, Ulster County's Healing Communities Study team will be partnering with the Ulster County's Sheriff's office to create a spike alert communications plan to give real-time updates to treatment providers when there is a spike of overdoses in a 24-hour period.

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