Narcan use is up and fatal opioid overdoses are down.
That’s according the Monroe County Heroin Task Force. They released their updated 2018 numbers through August on Friday morning.
It’s too early to say if the data represents progress or an outlier but one thing is certain, it’s an encouraging change.
The task force revealed a double-digit drop in overdose deaths from July to August, dropping from 18 to 7, the lowest monthly total this year.
Simultaneously, Narcan use is increasing throughout the county from 59 uses in February to 81 in August.
Narcan is a type of medication that helps revive people struggling during an overdose.
Lt. Andrew Delyser says it has played a key role in saving lives.
“It’s much more widely available than it ever was before and I think the scary part about it, just look at those fatality numbers and think about how much worse it would be if Narcan wasn’t available,” said Delyser.
In addition to fatal overdoses dropping in August, total overdoses dropped from 109 to 92, the largest month-to-month decrease in Monroe County this year.
According to the heroin task force, there have been 769 overdoses resulting in 110 fatalities across the county in 2018.
The task force says it has a lot of work ahead, but there have been some bright spots resulting from their effort.
“When you get someone who is suffering into treatment, knowing that person is getting help, there’s a human connection with that,” said Lt. Andrew Delyser, Monroe County Heroin Task Force. “That’s what’s been satisfying so far getting people into treatment.”
The task force also found the average age of overdose victims is 36; most happen in the City of Rochester.