Ulster County drug policy portal ratchets up war on opioids

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KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Michael Hein announced a new Internet portal for fighting the war against opioid addiction. The website, UlsterHelps.org, features informative public outreach videos, and links to resources for immediate addiction recovery services.
Hein was joined Friday by County Health Commissioner Dr. Carol Smith, both discussing the continuing problem of drug addiction within local communities, plus challenges of combating the deadly scourge. “Government can’t do it alone; we all need to be there together,” Dr. Smith advised.
Members of law enforcement and non-profit organizations attended, underscoring the effort. An intra-community substance use prevention task force was also announced Friday, adding to Ulster County’s integrated arsenal of community-based strategies to combat addiction.
Hein said these new programs dovetail with his administration’s innovative approach towards tackling difficult goals.
“Were talking about a profound problem; young people in the prime of their life with everything in front of them are being lost. We believe there are steps we can take to make things better, but it will be a quilt of solutions that make the difference,” Hein explained.
A three-pronged approach begins with education and prevention to reduce supply, squelch demand, and finally treatment and recovery. Pending lawsuits against prescription drug manufacturers is one of the potential weapons on the horizon, officials noted.
“We have been a leader, and we will continue to be a leader, to take this drug epidemic, and start turning the dial on it,” Dr. Smith said.