Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan signed an Executive Order establishing a new Narcan Kits Initiative that will place kits in high-risk locations around the County in addition to County buildings. The order calls for Ulster County to use overdose data to identify the most impactful locations to place 90 Narcan Kits in addition to County-operated locations.
“One of my ‘Big Five’ priorities is to ramp up our efforts to tackle the opioid epidemic because we can not allow this crisis to continue to rip apart our community and our families,” said County Executive Ryan. “I am proud to partner with a bi-partisan group of the Ulster County Legislature to expedite this program. We still have a long road ahead of us, but increasing access to Narcan by placing these kits in high-risk locations and County buildings is a life-saving and vital step forward in combating this crisis.”
“As a County, we must do everything possible to fight this crisis and reduce opioid-related deaths,” said Ulster County Legislator Laura Petit. “I have been advocating placement of Narcan Boxes in County buildings near AED’s, and thanks to County Executive Ryan’s leadership this critical initiative will be a reality. Together, we will help turn the tide and save lives.”
“I applaud the County Executive for moving this initiative forward faster. Every day that we are delayed there is the potential for another opioid-related death,” said Ulster County Legislator Al Bruno.
Kits will be installed in 60 County buildings near automated external defibrillators (AED’s). Staff in these buildings will receive Narcan training and planning is underway with Building and Grounds, who will check on the boxes monthly and assist in organizing Narcan swap out once every 24 months, which is new shelf-life guidelines, or according to expiration. For the 30 kits in the community, the County will use ODMap, an overdose tracking database, to inform the County of areas that experience higher levels of overdoses. The County will then strategically put our boxes in these locations to ensure that the community has access to Narcan which can reverse potentially fatal overdoses.
“As the opioid crisis continues to evolve in new ways, we must leave no stone unturned when it comes to saving lives in our community here in Ulster County,” said Ulster County Legislator Abe Uchitelle. “I applaud County Executive Ryan for taking this step and would also like to thank my colleagues in the legislature who have been staunch advocates for broader Narcan availability. If we save one life, it will have been worth it.”
“In September 2015 the Legislature’s UCAN Task Force issued a report to the Legislature containing both policy and budget recommendations to address the Heroin/Opioid epidemic here in our county,” said Ulster County Legislator Mary Wawro. “I was proud to be a founding member of that Task Force and am proud of the work the Ulster County Legislature, Executive’s Office, Health Department and Sheriff’s Office have done to make real strides in combating Substance Use Disorder and getting these deadly drugs off our streets. This is a formidable task and, as we recognize September as Recovery Awareness Month, I am so glad that County Executive Ryan is working to combat this deadly foe.”
This week, County Executive Ryan unveiled his first proposal as part of his 2021 Executive Budget, committing to dedicate over $670,000 to opioid use prevention. As part of one of County Executive Ryan’s “Big Five” priorities to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic, Ryan has dedicated an unprecedented 1.3 million dollars over the past two years in opioid prevention spending. On Monday, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced that Ulster County has declared a Public Health Emergency due to the recent spikes in deaths caused by fentanyl.