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Chautauqua County launches website to counter rising opioid overdoses

Facebook/Chautauqua County

Chautauqua County officials are launching a website designed to provide easily-accessible information on addiction, prevention, and treatment and recovery services. Leaders say despite the efforts to keep addiction services available during the pandemic, overdoses have risen.

While numbers were not reported during a Wednesday news conference, Chautauqua County Director of Mental Hygeine Patricia Brinkman says the pandemic shutdown helped fuel a rise in overdose cases.

"The isolation brought on by the shutdown, financial pressures such as job loss, the temporary closure of oversight bodies such as treatment courts, and increases in the rates of depression and anxiety have come together to create the perfect storm that drives this increase," Brinkman said.

The county's new website, CombatAddictionCHQ.com, includes information such as contacts for treatment and recovery programs, online support, and sections which dispel stereotypes about those struggling with an addiction.

"These are services I hope no one ever has to use. But in reality, we all know someone who struggles with addiction," said Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel.

Funding for the project was granted from the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, a multi-year initiaitive backed by the federal health Resources and Services Administration.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.