Helping those with opioid addiction starts ‘on the ground,’ says Sullivan EMS official

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MONTICELLO – Sullivan County Coroner Albee Backman is also the owner of Mobile Medic ambulance service and on Thursday, he told the oversight committee of the county legislature that 15 to 20 percent of all deaths in the county are from drug overdoses.

Last month alone there were four of those deaths in a county with a population of some 70,000.

Backman believes the county must implement a new approach to helping those with drug abuse before it is too late.

“Having a mobile unit of some sort from our mental health, from our county health department to come actually to the scene and counsel them right there. We are on the scene for a while; we don’t leave right away. We try to do it ourselves thee, but perhaps some type of mobile unit,” he said.

Other area counties in the Mid-Hudson/Catskills already employ mobile mental health units that are dispatched to crisis situations.

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