It’s not getting better. There are still too many people dying of opioid overdoses in Rochester (as well as the County, State, & Country). The situation brings in a host of other issues such as capitalism, racism, and more. To make things worse for the City, most of the resources used to prevent and deal with opioid and other addiction is County, State, and even Federal-based.
So what can our City government do to help?
First of all, incarceration is not the answer. Yes, there may be the immediate effect of helping someone detox, but many times, people in jails do not detox in a safe manner. But there is not an effective emphasis on the reason for people’s addiction. This means a sober person is more likely to relapse as their underlying cause for addiction has not been addressed. This is actually a waste of money and other resources that could have been used toward a more effective form of treatment.
Second, because many local resources for those dealing with addiction go through the County, as a member of City Council, I would support in any way I can ideas presented by the Green Party of Monroe County.
Third, use money that we save from ending corporate welfare in Rochester, to help fund outreach for those in crisis. Part of that could be for my last part of my plan below.
Lastly, I would incorporate peer drug counselors into a plan to overhaul of the Rochester Police Department. This way, people who have already experienced addiction, are sober and have been trained as counselors, would be dispatched on calls that are drug-related. (See my upcoming platform plank on changing the police department.)
A long-term solution to reduce the number of people in the City addicted to opioids and other substances would be to focus – as I have been doing – on some of the root causes of addiction. Trauma causes people to self-medicate which leads to addiction. That’s one of the reasons I focus on reducing poverty, ending violence, and improving schools.
Resources: (taken from Monroe County's Website)
Fairport Central Schools Presentation:
Mission Recovery and Hope, Inc.
1350 Buffalo Rd. #31
Rochester, NY 14624
835 W. Main St., Rochester, NY 14611
Walk-ins welcome 24/7
(585) 484- 0234
Recovery Support Navigators
Family Navigator: (855) 778-1200
Peer Advocate : (855) 778-1300
Rochester Regional Health: Open Access
Brighton: 2000 S. Winton Rd., Bldg. #2, Rochester, NY 14618
EBHC: 81 Lake Ave., Rochester, NY 14608
Greece: 1565 Long Pond Rd., Rochester, NY 14626
RMHC: 490 E. Ridge Rd., Rochester, NY 14621
Veterans Outreach Center:
Warrior Salute Veterans Services: