Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,299,998)
St. Lawrence County (NY)
FY 2022 COSSAP
St. Lawrence County (NY) will expand medication-assisted treatment (MAT), peer support and harm reduction activities for underserved and high risk populations, including incarcerated individuals and victims of recent overdose. This project will serve the 108,505 residents of St. Lawrence County, located in northern New York State, immediately south of the U.S. border with Canada. The project’s service area may extend beyond County borders, to neighboring Franklin (population 47,555), Jefferson (population 116,721) and Lewis (population 26,582) counties (2020 Census).
St. Lawrence County is large, rural, and subject to harsh winter weather. Typical barriers to treatment are made worse by transportation challenges including limited bus routes, shortage of drivers for public transit and volunteer transportation, rising fuel prices, and an unreliable medical transportation program. The Washington/Baltimore HIDTA Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), an overdose mapping tool used by the County, indicates a 265% increase in the number of overdoses reported from 2019 to 2021. In addition, data from the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force indicates significant increases in drug-related felonies (64%) and misdemeanors (90%) from 2018 to 2021.
The County’s Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) will expand to provide MAT services at the County Correctional Facility; continue to support the Peer Support Services established through FY2020 COSSAP (which has helped reduce “no-shows” from 50% to 15%); provide client, staff, and community education on overdose prevention and access to harm reduction resources through a new Harm Reduction/Transportation Specialist; establish new harm reduction services including needle exchange and syringe disposal; and coordinate community awareness and stigma reduction media campaigns and community events.
Direct oversight of the project will be provided by the St. Lawrence County Opioid Rural Response (SLCORR) Committee, whose purpose is to reduce the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD). SLCORR is led by the St. Lawrence County Community Services Board (SLCCSB) and includes the following stakeholders: St. Lawrence County Community Services, St. Lawrence County Overdose Prevention Program, Seaway Valley Prevention Council, Maximizing Independent Living Center (MILC), and New Hope Transformation Ministries (dba Grace House), a transitional living residence.