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Date Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2020

Margaretville Hospital Invites Public to 4-County Addiction Action Summit on Opioid Crisis

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MARGARETVILLE, N.Y. (Jan. 16, 2020) — Margaretville Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), invites the public to participate in a free, four-county summit on January 24 to exchange ideas about how to deter opioid misuse in the Catskills and how to help people deeply touched by the crisis. The summit will be held at the MTC Community Center, 61 Academy St. in Margaretville, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The second Addiction Action Summit, led by Margaretville Hospital, a member of the Catskills Addiction Coalition, is expected to include adolescents and young adults, people who use drugs and people in recovery, social and human services specialists, clinicians and religious leaders, educators and lawmakers, law enforcement officials and media representatives, and other individuals and groups from Delaware, Ulster, Sullivan and Greene counties with an interest in curbing and ultimately ending the opioid crisis and other substance-related disorders in the region.

“Individuals, families and communities all across the Catskills are severely affected by this crisis,” says Kenneth Oclatis, Ph.D., Director of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services for WMCHealth and a member of the Catskills Addiction Coalition. “We believe people in the communities themselves are the best source of ideas for developing the most innovative approaches to reversing the crisis in our area.”

The Catskills region has been especially hard-hit by the national opioid overdose crisis, with the number of people dying in the region from opioid-related overdoses much higher than New York State and U.S. national averages.

Ulster County led the state in overdose deaths in 2016, when 54 people died of overdoses, while Delaware County had the highest rate that year of “neonatal withdrawal,” a syndrome among infants caused by in-utero exposure to opioids taken by their mothers.*

Sullivan County’s death rate from opioids spiked alarmingly in 2018 to 30 overdose deaths, rivaling some of the highest overdose rates in the country. Ulster’s death number was 56. The two counties recorded some of the highest death rates from opioid overdoses in the state.*

And Greene County had the state’s highest heroin-overdose death rate outside New York City in 2016, at 17.4 people for every 100,000.*

Summit participants in Margaretville will be invited to break into small groups to tackle specific issues, which may include:

  • Affordable child care
  • Co-occurring conditions
  • Criminal justice reform
  • Food security
  • Harm reduction
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Livable wages
  • Local treatment options
  • Mental health
  • Prescribing practices
  • Quality education
  • Recovery-friendly businesses
  • Safe housing
  • Social cohesion
  • Social determinants of health
  • Social support
  • Stigma reduction and education
  • Youth engagement

The coalition is made up of Margaretville Hospital, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Roxbury Central School, Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties, the Mark Project, the Catskills Recreation Center, Samadhi Recovery Outreach Center, the Ulster County Opioid Response as County Law Enforcement (ORACLE) Program, and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Delaware County.

Free breakfast and lunch will be served. To register for the summit, please call Margaretville Hospital at 845-586-2631, ext. 3114, or sign up at catskillsaddictioncoalition.org.