Connecting to Behavioral Health Services and Narcan Training in Monroe County
While we have all been focused on coronavirus (COVID-19), we must remember that the opioid epidemic is still a nationwide public health emergency, and resources are still available to help individuals and families struggling with opioid addiction. CCSI staff spoke with Jason Teller, Substance Use Planning and Implementation Specialist at Monroe County Office of Mental Health to learn more about what’s available to help those in need stay sober, healthy and safe.
How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted those struggling with addiction, and how can they access behavioral health services?
Even without the coronavirus pandemic, individuals with substance use disorder experienced barriers to treatment, and now with the latest necessary public health safety measures in place, like social distancing and quarantines, these create additional risk factors for relapse for those with addiction. Isolation, combined with feelings of fear and anxiety, as well as stress from economic and health concerns, can worsen anxiety and depression, which can then lead to self-medication.
Substance Use Planning and Implementation Specialist
Monroe County Office of Mental Health
Because of this, we want to make sure everyone’s aware that mental health and substance use providers are still available for support. Instead of the usual face-to-face appointments, they are now offering services by phone and video conferencing. If an individual already has a provider they’ve been seeing, they can continue to meet with them. Individuals currently on medication assisted treatment (MAT) still have access to those meds and those that need to initiate MAT can do so as well. If someone needs to be connected to services, there are a few easy ways to get connected:
- We pulled together a list of mental health and substance use community services that can be found on CCSI’s website: https://www.ccsi.org/MHandSUCommunityResources.
- Anyone can call 211 to get connected to community services. https://211lifeline.org/
- There’s Open Access on 835 West Main Street in Rochester, which is a center that’s open 24/7 where adults and youth can get support with substance abuse, including a phone evaluation anytime by calling (585) 627-1777.
- Call the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) crisis hotline at 585.275.8686 Monday–Friday 7am–8pm or Saturday and Sunday 10am–6:30pm.
What are other supports individuals in recovery could access?
Addiction is addressed in a variety of ways and that can be through attending church or a mosque, inpatient or outpatient treatment, self-help meetings like AA or NA, exercise (ROCovery Fitness) and harm reduction as well. There are many self-help meetings taking place in the virtual world now, and it is an opportunity to learn from people in recovery from around the world that may be different than you.
With social distancing regulations in-place, will MCOMH continue to offer Narcan trainings?
Yes. The Monroe County Office of Mental Health is now offering free virtual Narcan trainings every Thursday at 2pm via Zoom. Narcan is a lifesaving opioid overdose reversal medication that is harmless, easy to administer, and learning to use it helps the community at large. Each participant will leave the training with knowledge of the opioid crisis, how to identify an overdose, and how to administer this life saving medication. Participants will also receive a Narcan kit. To register, fill out a registration form here and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What can we do to help?
Please share this information with your networks through email, social media, etc. to get the word out. We created a flyer with this information to make it easy to share.
Also, please encourage anyone interested in the Naracan training to register now. The more community members that can be trained, the more likely we’ll be to prevent fatal overdoses, giving those we love and care about the opportunity to get the help they need.