‘Opioid Task Force’ shakeup in Oneida County


UTICA, NY (WUTR-TV) — Oneida County’s three-year-old ‘Opioid Task Force’ is getting the restructuring treatment, after the 2019 roll-out of a new data collecting tool.

“The numbers are growing. The overdoses are growing,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente told Eyewitness News at a summit for the new task force mold.

What is new to the task force are four sub groups.

  • Prevention
  • Recovery
  • Treatment
  • Overdose Response

“We’ve expanded and plan to expand even more, and work with additional community members and agencies that can be on these separate committees for the task force,” said Pyllis Ellis, director for Oneida County Health.

Picente says the restructuring allows the four-group makeup to better focus on specific areas of addressing the epidemic.

The structural change also follows this year’s implementation of ‘ODMAP,’ an overdose mapping tool utilized by the task force.

Data collection helps officials identify overdose information, including where and when they happen and to who, allowing the task force to issue ‘overdose spike alerts.’

On Nov. 14 the task force issued an alert, saying there were 21 reported overdoses over the previous 15-days–four were fatal.

Additionally, more money is being sent to the task force’s efforts.

Oneida County received a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance and the CDC.

County legislators approved to match that amount in the 2020 budget, which Picente says, will be spent over the next two years.

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