Onondaga County to Receive Millions to Address Opioid Crisis

Onondaga County officials on Tuesday addressed the worsening opioid crisis within its borders and how they plan to address it.

County Executive Ryan McMahon said the county’s efforts will be propelled, in part, by the $3.7 million the county is set to receive from the recent settlement of state Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit. , against several manufacturers and distributors of opioids.

Of the $1.5 billion secured, more than $6.3 million is for central New York, with the city of Syracuse receiving $263,422; Cayuga County receives $538,933; Cortland County, $322,716; Madison County, $483,503; and Oswego County, $924,241.

McManhon said holding the pharmaceutical industry accountable is an important part of the fight, but in Onondaga County, that’s just the beginning.

What do you want to know

  • Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon reported 186 people died from opioid overdoses in 2021, up from 156 in 2020
  • McMahon said the $3.7 million the county is set to receive will help it fight the outbreak.
  • McMahon announced a three-pronged approach to tackling the epidemic focusing on prevention, treatment and recovery

“In 2020, we lost 156 of our residents to this crisis. In 2021, that number has risen to 186 deaths,” he said. “We are going to tackle this problem head-on.”

He said the county is taking action with a three-pronged approach focused on prevention, treatment and recovery. He said there will be a strong emphasis on prevention through education.

“That means getting into schools and strengthening the relationships we have with our districts,” he said.

Health Commissioner Dr Indu Gupta said efforts will go even further, ensuring that the second two aspects of the plan, treatment and recovery, also include an educational aspect.

“From emergency departments to prisons, wherever we can have touchpoints, we can get patients to get the treatment, but also start the education part,” she said.

McMahon said planning will begin immediately and efforts will look at what neighboring counties are doing to combat the outbreak, including strategies to improve opioid elimination programs, as well as access to Narcan training and improving law enforcement strategies.

“We have the resources, we have the talent. Let’s get together to put together a plan and implement it,” he said.

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