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Forum on Prescription Drug & Opiate Abuse


On Monday, May 19th a special Community Forum on Prescription Drug and Opiate Abuse was held at Locust Grove . More than 200 people came out to be part of important dialogue about preventing and treating addiction in our community.

The following presentations/videos were made at the forum:

Commissioner of Health Dr. Kari Reiber’s presentation (.pdf):

Community Advocate and CAPE Board Member
Pat Roza’s personal story about her son Christopher

News articles about the forum:  Stigma, treatment focus of drug abuse forum (Poughkeepsie Journal, May 19, 2014)


The forum was part of County’s workplan to generate public awareness about this important issue.  The workplan is part of the special report “Confronting Prescription Drug Abuse in Dutchess County, New York: Existing and Proposed Strategies to Address the Public Health Crisis” issued by the Dutchess County Health & Human Services Cabinet in December 2013.   The report addresses the growing public health crisis of prescription drug use, misuse and abuse in Dutchess County, with more overdose hospitalizations and deaths than ever before being reported.

The full report is available here

How can you help to address prescription drug abuse and misuse?

  • Clear out your medicine cabinet of unwanted, unnecessary or expired medication. Safely dispose of it at numerous drop box locations countywide. For more information, including locations, click here:
    Dutchess County Prescription Medication Drop Box Program (.pdf).
  • Know how to recognize the signs of an overdose and call 911 immediately if you see an overdose. New York’s “911 Good Samaritan Law” provides protections from charge and prosecution for drug and alcohol possession for the victim and those who seek help during an overdose.

How do you recognize signs of overdose?

  • The person is unconscious and you can’t wake them
  • Breathing slowing or not all
  • Lips or nails are turning blue

What should you do if you see an overdose?

  • Call 911 immediately!
  • Say “I think someone may have overdosed. (S)he isn’t breathing.;
  • If the person is not breathing, do rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth)
  • Lay the person on their side once they resume breathing
  • For information about local drug and alcohol treatment options, call the Dutchess County HELPLINE for crisis intervention, telephone counseling, information & referral – 24 hours/day, 7 days/week (845) 485-9700 -or- Toll Free (877) 485-9700.

Related Article: Dutchess County to Host Forum on Prescription Drug & Opiate Abuse Monday, May 19th at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie (5/14/2014)


News Release: County Report Addresses Prescription Drug Misuse (12/23/2013)

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A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
Dutchess County Seal