Friday, August 11, 2017



Sullivan County’s newest killer is taking a deadly toll

MONTICELLO – Last year, there were 14 known deaths that could be linked to opioid abuse in Sullivan County.  Seven months into this year, already 20 have died.

Health and Family Services Commissioner Joseph Todora knows the culprit.

“Even though our number of deaths in Sullivan County has risen this year, I’m pretty sure that it has a lot more to do with the fentanyl than anything else,” Todora said.  “We do have our first responders equipped with Narcan to be able to reverse somebody who may be overdosing but fentanyl is such that sometimes you have to use a lot more of the Narcan to be able to have that reversal occur.”

Fentanyl can be beneficial in tightly controlled medical applications.  As a ‘recreational drug,’ however, it can be far deadlier than morphine or heroin because it is often manufactured in China, in various forms, without adherence to any standards.

Todora says the first line of defense often is family and friends.

“That’s why we have the Hope Line.  Call the Hope Line. We’ll be able to give you the resources that you need to be able to help you and hopefully that person who is in your family that is not doing well and may be dealing with an addiction.”

The Hope Line, 866-832-5575, went online last month.  County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw told the county legislature’s Health and Family Services Committee on Thursday they are getting about six calls a week now. 


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