The Community Overdose Action Team is tracking an increase in the number of overdose deaths in the community and wish to remind the public that the many area addiction treatment and recovery centers remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The centers are providing a combination of virtual sessions using video or tele-conferencing and individual in-person counseling sessions. According to preliminary data, 101 overdose deaths occurred in Montgomery County between January and April of 2020. This represents a 26% increase from 80 in the first four months of 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing stress for all sectors of the public, with those who have an addiction being at greater risk. By using remote telehealth options, services can be provided to individuals without being physically present. Benefits of this approach include; providers can meet the patients where they are, providers can meet with more persons per day, patients do not have to travel to and from appointments and patients reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19. If someone is experiencing stress or anxiety related to COVID-19 they can call the Miami Valley Warmline at (937) 528-7777, Monday to Friday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, for free and confidential mental and behavioral health peer support services. For access to immediate help 24/7, the public can call Samaritan Behavioral Health Crisis Care at (937) 224-4646 for linkage to treatment and care options. Another resource that is available is the GetHelpNow Montgomery County app that provides information about mental health and addiction services in Montgomery County.
The Community Overdose Action Team reminds you that any illegal drug could contain fentanyl which increases the chance for an overdose. While there is no safe way to use illegal drugs, it is important that drugs users, their friends and family, and the public are aware of steps they can take to help reduce the risk of death.
Safety Recommendations for Drug Users:
In the event of an overdose call 911 immediately.
Have Narcan available, and someone who can administer it, in case of an overdose.
Call Samaritan Crisis Care 24/7 at 224-4646 for crisis, treatment and referral.
Do not use drugs containing fentanyl.
Do not use drugs alone.
Do not share needles.
Additional Resources to Help Prevent Overdoses:
1. Attend Naloxone/Narcan training. Project Dawn Montgomery County offers FREE virtual training on how to use Narcan, as well as a free supply of the drug. Please call 937-224-4646 to schedule a training.
2. Be knowledgeable about local treatment options. Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) maintains a list of local addiction and mental health treatment resources on the app GetHelpNow Montgomery County, as well as online screening tools at http://www.mcadamhs.org.