Aims to prevent overdoses and save lives
The Niagara County Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (NCDMH), in partnership with the Niagara County Opioid Task Force (OASIS) and local pharmacies, on Thursday announced the launch of Project Awareness, a campaign to provide the Niagara County Crisis Services 24-hour phone line number on prescription medications that have a high potential for abuse and overdose. The goal is to raise awareness that help is available – any time, any day – for individuals who may have substance use concerns or may be considering taking the medications with an intent to harm themselves.
“With substance abuse and drug overdoses continuing to be an epidemic in our community, negatively impacting various facets of life for individuals, families and the community at large, we must do all we can together to address this public health crisis,” said Myrla Gibbons Doxey, NCDMH deputy director and co-chair of the Niagara County Opioid Task Force public awareness/involvement subcommittee.
NCDMH Director Laura Kelemen said, “No one should have to face life’s most difficult challenges alone, and it’s crucial that our communities know that there are people available to reach out to that can help make a positive impact on – and potentially save – their lives.”
When approached with the idea of partnering to provide Crisis Services information on targeted prescription medications, 10 local pharmacies stepped up to be a part of this project. Those pharmacies are as follows:
Niagara Falls area:
Niagara County Legislator Owen Steed said, “We really appreciate these local pharmacies who are going the extra mile to help our local citizens. I’m looking forward to when all Niagara County pharmacies have the Crisis Services phone number on their prescription medications to help those in need.” He is co-chair of the Niagara County Opioid Task Force public awareness/involvement subcommittee.
It is anticipated approximately 360,000 labels will be placed on prescription medications over the course of the next year through the Project Awareness effort.
The Niagara County Crisis Services 24-hour phone line, 716-285-3515, operates every hour of every day of the year providing free, confidential support, guidance, referral and/or intervention to anyone experiencing mental health and/or substance use related concerns.