NEWBURGH – International Overdose Awareness Day is a somber day, but it is also “a day of hope.” That was the message from Linda Muller, president of Cornerstone Family Healthcare as several agencies gathered in the City of Newburgh to mark the day and remember those who have died from drug overdoses.
Muller noted drug addiction is a disease that is treatable.
“We have t get past our own stigma issues. We need to get past our own problems with what drug abuse looks like, because it looks like me, it looks like you. It looks like every community and every person is every community because it is an equal opportunity disease,” she said. It is a disease, treatable – has to be comprehensible treatment.”
Orange County Mental Health Commissioner Darcie Miller told the community service workers that they are “ambassadors of the message about what addiction does and how it impacts a life.” She said the community leaders continue to “fight the fight, to not give up, to be there for those who are struggling.”
Miller said last year in Orange County from January to August, there were 121 overdose deaths. This year during the same eight-month period, there were 77.
State Senator James Skoufis told those gathered that the legislature has earmarked $230 million in pharmaceutical settlement money to be used only to fight the drug epidemic in the state.