ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – A ‘Call to Action’ has been issued by the Oneida County Opioid Task Force, with a goal of reducing the total number of overdose deaths in the county by at least 10% by the end of 2022. This new strategy focuses on four different areas and how the county plans to address these issues.

Between 2020 and 2021, Oneida County saw a 27% increase in overdose fatalities, with 90% of these deaths involving fentanyl. It was this information that prompted the task force to make the ‘Call to Action’ which focuses on treatment enhancement, harm reduction, recovery, and prevention.

“How did the person get addicted, what was the train of success that went along, or lack of success,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente.

“You know, I heard a story the other day of someone who was rehabbed for a year and was doing fine and then relapsed – what happened there?”

He continued, “But, you know, just like everything else that we deal with – you can’t force people into treatment.”

Additionally, the county plans to continue using resources to address emerging drug-related by creating an ‘Overdose Fatality Review Team,’ installing Narcan emergency cabinets in all county offices, and encouraging other local municipalities to do the same.