Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said Tuesday that Capital Region overdose deaths are outpacing current COVID-19 deaths.
Albany County Mental Health Director Stephen Giordano says statistics for April and May aren’t available, but a recent spike seems to be the result of a bad batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl. The drugs circulated last week and led to two deaths in Rensselaer County.
Treatment centers like Addictions Care Center of Albany say resources are available, but they've moved online.
"People feel very disconnected in this environment. They don’t think that help is a phone call away when, in fact, it is. We have a lot of this drug use happening, seemingly in a vacuum," says Keith Stack, the executive director of the Addictions Care Center of Albany.
Support services provided by Second Chance Opportunities have also gone virtual. The Albany nonprofit employs individuals in recovery and provides several daily Zoom meetings with recovery coaches.
"If you’re struggling, if you’re alone, if you’re a parent and you’re concerned about your child, just reach out. We are here," says Kellie Roe, executive director of Second Chance Opportunities.