Orange County, NY: Epicenter of Heroin Addiction

Posted on September 8, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Catholic Charities Teams Up During Recovery Month to Reduce Its Toll

Ninety-six pinwheels representing the deaths of 96 people who lost their battles with addiction last year alone were placed yesterday, September 7, 2017, on the lawn of New Life Manor, a chemical addiction treatment center in Orange County, New York.

Nowhere in the nation has the tragedy of heroin and opioid addiction hit harder than Orange County.  This small suburban county now claims the unwanted distinction of the highest rate of heroin overdose deaths as a share of its population.  And while the 96 pinwheels represented last year’s death toll, an estimated more 100,000 Orange County residents are affected by issues of mental health and substance use, according to the Orange County Department of Mental Health.

“Joining together today in recognition of Recovery Month, we also recognize the value of collaboration in support of recovery, those suffering from the disease of addiction, and the loved ones who care for them,” said Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange & Sullivan Executive Director Dr. Scher when he spoke at the event on behalf of fellow addiction services agencies including Cornerstone Family Healthcare, HONOR, and RECAP.

 “Working together, we are stronger and more effective in promoting prevention, encouraging treatment, and helping people recover.”

Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan provides individualized, comprehensive, state-of-the-art, evidence-based treatment for adolescents and adults who suffer from addictive disorders. Staff includes licensed/credentialed: psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, counselors, and licensed mental health practitioners.

The Recovery Month event emphasized the critical role community partnerships play in affecting change so individuals experiencing mental health and/or substance use disorders receive support they need to make a life in recovery possible. In Orange County, community partners in support of recovery include all levels of government, county agencies, community-based organizations, and health care providers, as well as law enforcement and the judicial system.

Speakers at the recognition event described the impact mental and substance use disorders have on the community and discussed the epidemic growth of addiction to heroin and prescription opioids, and the critical role prevention, treatment, and support services play in an individual’s recovery and improved quality of life. Officials across all levels of government work closely with human service agencies in Orange County to promote legislation, implement preventive measures, help loved ones recognize the signs of a problem, and guide those in need to appropriate treatment and recovery support services.

 “Every day we hear heart wrenching stories of families, friends, and neighbors who have felt the pain of addiction,” said New York State Assemblyman James Skoufis who joined with Catholic Charities, County Executive Steven Neuhaus, County District Attorney David Hoovler and more to raise awareness and work towards a solution.  “Working together, however, we have the ability to make a difference and be visible, vocal, and valuable proponents of recovery.”

Are you concerned that you or a loved one may have a problem with alcohol or drugs? Follow the links below for free, anonymous online screening:

View Catholic Charities list of recommended organizations that provide resources for addiction and substance abuse treatment.



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