News Flash

County Executive Press Releases

Posted on: March 30, 2023



Rensselaer County will continue efforts to combat a jump in fatal opioid overdoses with distribution of Narcan at several locations next week, County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas announced today.

The county will stage a “Narcan blitz” on Tuesday, April 4 at five locations throughout the county to provide the life-saving medical spray for free.

Like other counties across the state and nation, Rensselaer County is seeing an increase in fatal opioid overdoses during 2023. Fatal overdoses have increased in the county in recent years but 2023 is sadly likely to set records.

So far, in 2023, the county has seen 24 fatal opioid overdoses. At the same period in 2022, the county had seen only 11 fatal overdoses. 

“We are taking what we believe is a realistic approach to a growing and tragic health issue in our county. Rensselaer County is working to battle the scourge of opioid addiction in an effective and common-sense way,” said County Executive McLaughlin. 

“This is an important fight, as we have seen too many families lose members struggling with addition and drug use,” added McLaughlin.

“Narcan can help save a life and avoid a tragedy. The blitz on April 4 will give residents a convenient and safe way to obtain Narcan and help in the fight,” said Public Health Director Wachunas.

Rensselaer County is so far in 2023 is experiencing over 50% increase of fatal overdoses compared to last year at this time.

- In 2022 of the 42 confirmed overdoses cases that occurred in Rensselaer County 34 were Fentanyl related. 3 are pending toxicology report.

-              Since 2021 Rensselaer County has had 5 confirmed deaths related to xylazine.

-              Since 2020 Rensselaer County has lost 177 lives due to fentanyl related overdoses.

-              The Narcan Blitz that is happening on April 4th represents the top five areas of either non-fatal or fatal overdoses.

-              Rensselaer County is kicking off Town Hall Narcan Trainings with the City of Rensselaer. Second highest area for fatal overdoses.

-              Rensselaer county plans to conduct Town Hall Trainings in every Town, Village and City over the next couple of months.

“Our county health department has done a great job addressing the opioid epidemic by creating the Rensselaer County Heroin Coalition and having open discussions about the impacts of drug abuse. This Narcan distribution blitz will help raise awareness and get this important life saving product into the hands of people that are ready and willing to use it.” Legislator Dan Casale – Brunswick.

“Rensselaer County has taken a proactive approach to tackling the opioid epidemic that is impacting communities across the country. Education and the distribution of Narcan is a first step in saving the lives of our residents. I urge county residents that are impacted by opioid abuse to take advantage of the distribution program for this life saving drug and be prepared to use it if the need arises. As a member of the Legislature’s Health Committee, I believe that we have to remain laser focused on fighting this scourge that is impacting our communities.” Legislator Wayne Gendron – Averill Park.

The Narcan Blitz will take place on April 4 at the following locations:

1)            CDTA Park and Ride on Route 150 in Schodack from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

2)            County Office Building, 1600 7th Avenue, downtown Troy from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

3)            East Greenbush Police Department, 225 Columbia Turnpike from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

4)            Jimmy’s Pizzeria, 75 5th Ave, Lansingburgh from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

5)            West Sand Lake Fire Department, 3697 NY-43, West Sand Lake from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Resources are available from the county for those fighting opioids.

- Rensselaer County Helpline call 1-833-467-3123 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily for information, resources and referrals for substance use issues.

- Naloxone Now Program- Text Narcan to 21000 to receive Narcan curbside delivery.

- Mental Health Department Services.

- Rensselaer County Heroin Coalition every 6 weeks.

- Rensselaer County Department of Mental Health Services 518 270-2800.

- Rensselaer County Heroin Coalition meets every 6 weeks (dates located on our

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