I was scrolling through my social media feed last week when a post stopped me in my tracks and stole the breath from my lungs. One of my friends shared the devastating news that they'd lost their teenaged child to a drug overdose and instantly, my heart shattered for them.

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Every time I tuck in my little boy, I say a prayer not only that he'll have a good sleep, but that he'll always be kept safe from harm, a prayer that all parents say. My absolute biggest fear is one I share with my fellow parents and that is that my child will get maimed or involved in something that he shouldn't, such as drugs, and will be stolen from me.

Stolen. That's the perfect word to describe what overdoses do. They steal children from their parents and parents from their children and unfortunately, the number of people being stolen from their loved ones in Broome County is climbing again.

In a press release from the Broome County Health Department, officials report that there has been a sharp increase in overdoses during the month of February and the county has asked for help to remind users that they're not alone and that help is available through support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and through virtual counseling and services provided by local agencies. If you're using and looking for help, you can call 211 any time of the day or night and help will be found for you.

Additionally, the county reminds family, friends, and loved ones of users to take time to check in on those with a substance use disorder. These seemingly endless months of being cooped up are no doubt making people seek out substances in an attempt to feel better.

If you have a friend or family member who uses drugs, one of the best things that you can do in addition to reminding them that help is available is to make sure that you have a Narcan kit. Narcan is used to reverse an overdose and Virtual Narcan training are being offered through the Addiction Center of Broome County, Helio Health, Southern Tier AIDS Program, and Truth Pharm are all offering virtual training.

via Broome Opioid Awareness Council
via Broome Opioid Awareness Council


If you're interested in participating in a virtual Narcan training, reach out to any of the agencies listed above and after being asked a few questions, you will be trained on the spot. Following your training, a representative from the agency will figure out the best way to get a Narcan kit to you.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:

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