No overdose deaths in February signals a 'step in the right dire - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

No overdose deaths in February signals a 'step in the right direction' for Broome County

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Broome County officials are 'cautiously optimistic' following February's milestone of no overdose deaths throughout the month. 

Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell says its the first month if five years without an overdose death. 

"That's a significant milestone, but I got to make it clear we're not saying that the problem's over or there aren't going to be more deaths. There are, we want to get to zero forever or for the year, but I mean if it's zero for the month and everybody's working this hard then I think you show people that you can make a difference," said Cornwell. 

He said the decline is because of a countywide effort. 

"There's been a lot of changes in treatment options and narcan and community awareness and education prevention programs obviously law enforcement is a major part," he said. 

The Binghamton Police Department said its noticed a decrease in overdose calls.  

"Overdose calls do fluctuate. They can fluctuate month to month. There's been a slight decrease and we're cautiously optimistic about it, but our tactics and our strategy to how we respond to overdoses is going to remain the same," said Lt. Alan Quinones.

According to the Broome Crime Analysis Center, in 2017, there were 42 fatal overdoses. 

Quinones said although the deaths might be declining their department will not stop fighting the epidemic. 

"We're going in the right direction and we're going to continue to walk in that direction," he said. 

Cornwell said it's too early to tell if this is a turning point in the epidemic in Broome County, saying only time will tell, but they will continue to fight the problem. 

"We have a very sound policy and we're going to keep at it and like I said, we're making progress, it's just nice once and awhile to let people know that there's some positive in all this," he said.  

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