Times Union: Capital Region Counties Push For Real-Time Data On Opioid Deaths, Hospitalizations

The Times Union recently published a story questioning new state data that show a decrease in the number of opioid-related deaths in 2017 compared to 2016.

State and local officials warn the 2017 data is preliminary and likely deflated. They’re pushing for real-time data, collected at the county level which, they say, could allow law enforcement to better target their efforts and education, and help prevent more deaths.

Dr. Melissa Weimer, chief of behavioral health and addiction medicine for St. Peter’s Health Partners, is among those quoted in the article.

From the story:

“I guess I don’t believe that the data is accurate based on what we have been seeing on the front lines,” said Dr. Melissa Weimer, an addiction medicine specialist for St. Peter’s Health Partners, which operates inpatient and outpatient detox and rehabilitation programs around the Capital Region. “I know there have been issues with identifying deaths attributed to opioids.”

Within the past year, St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) opened four new outpatient detoxification sites. Designed to be an additional weapon in the war against addiction to prescription opioids and heroin, these sites have treated more than 400 Capital Region residents in recent months.

SPHP is proud to partner with the Times Union and other leaders from health care, media, government, law enforcement, education and business for Prescription for Progress. The coalition is dedicated to examining the opioid crisis – how we got here and what it will take to stop more people from dying.

Click HERE to read the full Times Union article.


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