QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Warren County Sheriff’s Office unveiled a new online database this week to better educate the public about drug overdoses in Warren County. The site was created due to increased substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The goal of the Warren County Overdose Response Dashboard is to raise awareness of the substance use issues in the community and to help coordinate community response.
The website breaks down 2021 overdoses by drug type, community, age of the individual and whether there was a fatality. It also details use of the opioid antidote Naloxone and the types of agency response to the overdoses.
Carrie Wright, Co-Chair of the Criminal Justice and Community Services Task Force in the Office of Community Services for Warren and Washington Counties, said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused community focus to slip away from substance use, which has led to increased overdose deaths.
In an interview with News 10 ABC on Thursday, Wright said that the pandemic’s influence on mental health through isolation has been a key player in the most recent year of a larger-scope increase in overdoses.
“The transparency and ease of this platform will help galvanize efforts to embrace the idea that all pathways lead to recovery as well as help our community better plan for services and programs to support our loved ones,” Wright noted.
“Timely access to the data contained on the dashboard will enable us to quickly respond to a sudden increase, or spike, in overdose events or bad batches, which we hope will save lives,” explained Warren County Sheriff Jim LaFarr in a release. “The data not only provides actionable intelligence for public health efforts, it will also assist us to better understand how to combat the ever-changing opioid crisis.”
As of Thursday, the database showed that the number of overdose deaths in the county in 2021 was, so far, outranked by the number of lives saved using Narcan.