Finger Lakes Area Counseling & Recovery Agency (FLACRA) is taking opioid treatment out of the counseling clinic to meet the people who need support where they are — both emotionally and physically — with immediate response services. Wednesday, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles E. Schumer visited with FLACRA staff and representatives from Yates County to learn more about the agency’s mobile treatment van and to discuss the need for continued funding to combat opioid addiction.
Noting Yates County has the second highest rate of opioid overdoses in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region, Schumer assured those who met with him that he will push to secure funding for services. “The cost is federal. You can’t expect a small county to bear this cost.” Schumer said.
In the first six months of 2018, there have been 15 opioid overdoses in Yates County, with three fatalities. Over the course of the last three years, Yates County has averaged three opioid overdoses per month. In addition to heroin and prescription painkillers, Yates County has been stricken by the potent and devastating drug fentanyl as well. Over the course of the past two years, at least four people in Yates County have been arrested and accused of selling fentanyl, which can be 100 times more deadly than heroin. Schumer said these statistics plainly illustrate the need to keep fighting the opioid scourge at the ground level, and securing more federal funding to do so is absolutely necessary.
Jennifer Gigliotti, one of 28 Peer Counselors locally, told Schumer about a man in crisis who was helped by the services she could help him access quickly.