Governor Cuomo: Declare A State of Emergency For New York State
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The recent spike in overdose deaths throughout Columbia County and the State of New York State has escalated the opiate pandemic to a PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY. In just the last week, at least 15 individuals in Columbia County have overdosed and at least 2 have died as the results of an overdose. Similar overdose numbers are being reported in other NYS Counties. According to data from the NYS Health Department, Columbia County is on a track that will have us surpassing all of the 2015 and 2016 overdose numbers. These numbers constitute a pandemic, taking more lives and devastating more families than any destructive force Columbia County and New Yorkers have ever faced, and it’s getting worse.
WE ARE PAST THE POINT OF DELAY. The magnitude of this public health emergency demands the full attention, swift action, and sustained commitment of our elected and agency officials, law enforcement officers, and healthcare professionals to provide the immediate resources needed to effectively address this pandemic.
We call on Governor Cuomo to declare a STATE OF EMERGENCY so that resources are made available IMMEDIATELY. The Governors of the State of Florida and of Maryland have already recognized this devastating public health crisis and declared a STATE OF EMERGENCY. We are calling on you, Governor Cuomo, to follow their lead and do the same. We need treatment centers available 24/7, so that people can get the help they need at the exact moment they need it. We need NY State organizations to work TOGETHER to address this crisis. Hospitals must readily admit anyone in need of detox or stabilization, the same as they would for any other immediate medical need. Following this initial medical care, these individuals and families need immediate access to the appropriate level of treatment and recovery supports.
The current rash of overdose deaths will continue to rage until we are willing to address it on the front end, investing in prevention, treatment, and recovery. This will entail coordinating a powerful and orchestrated network of public health and direct services across our County and our State that includes both abstinence and harm reduction approaches, medication-assisted treatment and recovery, prevention and screening, and peer recovery services. With decades of professional and lived experience under our belts, our county has the collective know-how to address this pandemic head on, but not without adequate resources. Again, we call on the Governor to do the right thing; declare a State of Emergency and allocate the necessary funding and resources to address this pandemic before more lives are senselessly lost. People in these communities, this County and this State are dying in record numbers. Something must be done now, not later. #NotOneMoreDeath
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