Overdose rates are rising fast in Rockland County. In 2016, Rockland County lost 40 lives to overdose. According to the Office of Senator David Carlucci, the number of fatal opioid overdoses has increased 11-fold in the past 10 years (Fig. 1).

 Fig. 1: Opioid Death Toll, Senator David Carlucci

Fig. 1: Opioid Death Toll, Senator David Carlucci

Data regarding fatal and nonfatal overdoses from the Rockland Paramedics Services (which aggregates overdose data from law enforcement across the county) reveal concerning trends in Rockland County. 

In 2016, the average number of weekly overdoses responses by law enforcement was 1. Since the beginning of 2017 (January - May 2017), that number has raised to 2 overdoses a week. Additionally, the average age of those who have overdosed in 2016 was 32. The average age of those who have overdosed in 2017 dropped to 26 years old. (Fig. 2).

 Fig. 2: Average overdose responses in Rockland, Jan. 2016-May 2017, by Rockland law enforcement.

Fig. 2: Average overdose responses in Rockland, Jan. 2016-May 2017, by Rockland law enforcement.

When we breakdown this overdose data by zip code, we find that the towns with the highest rates of overdoses are Nanuet (#1) and Pearl River (#2). Below is a map of overdose responses in Rockland by zip code.

Overdose Responses in Rockland County, Jan. 2016 - May 2017 (Law Enforcement)

There is an urgent need to address drug overdose in Rockland County. Community members and healthcare providers must be equipped with the proper education and knowledge on how to respond and treat an overdose.

Rockland Connects provides free overdose response training to do just that. We teach individuals: the risks of fatal overdose, what happens during an overdose, how to respond to an overdose, and how to treat overdose with naloxone (an overdose reversal drug). Join us during the first and third Mondays of the month, 6:30-8:00pm, at the Nyack Center for a free training and overdose rescue kit. Alternatively, join us every fourth Tuesday of the month, 6:30-8:00pm, at the MLK Multi-Purpose Center in Spring Valley.