(White Plains, NY) - Westchester County joins communities around the world in recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) on August 31.  Over the last twenty years drug overdose deaths have increased significantly in many parts of the world and continue to worsen.  Each year a record number of deaths are reported, which is predominantly driven by the misuse of opioids in combination with other drugs. This growing overdose epidemic extends to all parts of the world - including Westchester County.

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is an annual event to raise awareness about overdose, to remember without stigma those who have lost their lives to an overdose and to provide better support for overdose prevention.  Westchester County Departments, along with our community stakeholders, will be offering several upcoming educational and awareness programs as well as lifesaving Narcan training to support this effort.

County Executive Latimer said: “Our community is being ravaged by the opioid crisis, and it is imperative that we, as a community, work together to identify the causes of this epidemic, and work with people to meet all their needs so we can stem the growing tide of abuse and overdose.  Opioid addiction is not about just one thing; it is about the entire person – their problems, their needs, the reasons they may use in the first place, and we must take a holistic approach to give everyone affected a fighting chance.”

Integrating services is crucial to success, and Westchester is working towards an interlocked system of care and treatment.  The county is moving ahead with programs that have mental health and substance use needs met in the same locations, and working to serve the entire population where the needs are found; from schools to clinics to physician-based treatment.

DCMH Commissioner Michael Orth said: “Substance use and mental health disorders, often in combination (co-occurring disorders) affects thousands of people across Westchester. Our County, our local governments, our hospitals and clinics, and police departments see every day how great the need is.  It is critical that our efforts include both prevention through education as well as access to effective treatment for those in need.”

Department of Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD said: “I encourage all community members to learn how they can help fight the overdose epidemic. Narcan training is a tool we all can use to revive overdose victims and give substance users a second chance to reclaim their lives.” 

Upcoming Educational and Awareness Forums

NAMI of Westchester: What Matters to You? Promotion and Understanding of community services for people with Co-Occurring Disorders.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Mercy College Dobbs Ferry Campus

For tickets go to:  or visit NAMI website  and click on Upcoming Events.

The first Out of the Shadows: Co-Occurring Disorders Awareness Walk                     

Sunday, September 30, 2018 starting at 3pm at Pace University Pleasantville                                                      

Registration page is now live you can go directly or navigate from

The 2nd Annual Westchester Youth Summit                                                                                   

Tuesday October 30, 2018 from 9am-1:30pm at the Westchester County Center.                               

Over 38 high schools, 400 students, 60 volunteers participated in 2017.

For additional information on Westchester educational programs and services contact the Department of Community Mental Health at (914) 995-5220.

Upcoming Narcan Trainings sponsored by Westchester County Department of Health