State officials sound the alarm on rise in opioid deaths since COVID-19 pandemic
A Brooklyn-based organization was joined by state health officials to launch a new mobile unit for drug-abuse treatments that will serve the most at-risk New Yorkers.
This comes as a new report by the state Comptroller’s Office that shows a 68% increase in opioid overdose deaths statewide between 2019 and 2021. The report says that the reduced number of treatment and harm reduction options during the pandemic is partly to blame for the spike.
Elected officials and community leaders joined the Bridging Access to Care organization to unveil its new mobile unit that will attack the ongoing crisis.
The bus will be staffed with a team of clinicians that will go around the borough to provide a range of services. It is equipped with two consultation rooms, two bathrooms, and the supplies needed to evaluate and treat patients.
“We are facing the worst overdose death crisis ever on record in New York state and across the country, and it's definitely been made worse by Covid,” said Chinazo Cunningham, commissioner of the Office pf Addiction Services and Supports. “We need to think of moving outside of the walls of the clinics, into the community, and reaching people who are the most marginalized, who are at highest risk of overdose death.”
Bridging Access to Care offers all-around health services out of their three locations in Flatbush and Williamsburg, and are excited for how the mobile unit will help underserved communities.