Assini says local hospitals aren’t doing enough to save lives as it relates to the deadly epidemic.
More than 200 people died from opioid overdoses in Monroe County last year, according to annualized data released earlier this week.
The latest numbers have Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini pointing the finger at local hospitals. He says they aren’t doing enough to save lives as it relates to the deadly epidemic.
Throughout our area, if someone wants to go to rehabilitation treatment for opioid addiction there are only 25 licensed detox beds. Earlier this year, the state eased requirements to allow hospitals to create more detox beds, but so far at University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health, no beds have been opened.
The lack of detox beds means people who wish to get treatment are placed on long waiting lists and some even die before they receive treatment. Right now, hospitals in our area primarily treat opioid addiction with methadone.
Assini argues this isn’t the best way. He’s calling on local hospitals to help fight this epidemic.
"I do believe that it's a money issue," Assini says. "I believe it's not profitable to run detox beds. Unfortunately, until we put some money into opening up more detox beds, we will continue to see this crisis. There's no question about it this is as deadly a drug as we've seen.”
According to the data, there were 287 deaths in 2017 directly attributable to the use of heroin, opioids, fentanyl, or related other substances. Of those, 220 deaths occurred in Monroe County, and 67 happened in surrounding counties. As of May this year, there have been 68 deadly overdoses in Monroe County in 2018.
News10NBC reached out to officials at URMC and Rochester Regional Health about detox beds but have not yet heard back.
For more information about opioid addictions including resources for getting help and treatment options, click here.