Dutchess County announces new ways to tackle opioid crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone across the country and the world, but it has also made certain problems become even worse - including substance abuse.
Adam Tarasoff, of Fishkill, served in Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013. When pain medications were cut off after treating injuries he sustained, Tarasoff says that is when he reverted to using street drugs and other deadly substances.
Tarasoff began methadone treatment at the Lexington Center nine months ago, and the pandemic did not stop his road to recovery.
The Lexington Center serves throughout Dutchess County. It offers substance use treatment, medication assistance treatment and counseling.
During the pandemic, other county residents lost their battle to addiction. Dutchess officials say so far 49 people died of an overdose this year - up from 39 in the same time span last year.
During the second quarter of 2020, there were a total of 26 overdose deaths compared to 23 in 2019.
The county is stepping up efforts to fight the battle.
Dutchess County says it is reallocating recovery coaches for outreach in areas where there are high-risk overdose individuals.
The county says it will hold daily recovery and empowerment groups at the Dutchess County Jail. Business owners on Main Street in Poughkeepsie will also be taught how to use Narcan.
County Executive Marc Molinaro says some reasons there have been an increase in overdoses this year are COVID-19, isolation and bail reform.