The Oneida County Opioid Task Force has issued a “Call to Action.”

The goal is to reduce the number of overdose deaths in the county by at least 10-percent by the end of this year.

The plan was delivered by Opioid Task Force Chairs County Executive Anthony Picente, Sheriff Rob Maciol and District Attorney Scott McNamara, at the group’s meeting late last month.

“We all understand that we are up against a daunting challenge and working together is the only way that we will reduce the tragic loss of life in our community,” Picente said. “The reality is that we have, and will continue, to fight this battle in the face of many obstacles including the impacts of a pandemic, limited resources and an ever-changing drug environment. And despite the progress we’ve made, there is more work to do.”

The “Call to Action” will tackle issues in four areas of focus – treatment enhancement, overdose prevention-harm reduction, recovery and prevention.

District Attorney McNamara says with the support of the  partner agencies and organizations that make up the Task Force, they believe they can accomplish what has been outlined in the "Call to Action" and achieve the goal that has been set.

The fact that 46-percent of the 89 county drug-related deaths in 2021 involve fentanyl mixed with a stimulant such as cocaine or methamphetamines and that 90-percent of county drug-related deaths in 2021 involved fentanyl, prompted the Task Force’s call.

Oneida County experienced a 27-percent increase in overdose fatalities from 2020 to 2021.

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