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.