Best way to tackle opioid epidemic? Monroe County's top doc discusses options

Patti Singer, Rochester Democrat and ChroniclePublished 8:00 a.m. ET July 17, 2018 | Updated 8:59 a.m. ET July 17, 2018

The risk of dying from an overdose is greater after the person completes detox than before, said Dr. Michael Mendoza, commissioner of the Monroe County Department of Public Health.

That doesn’t mean people should skip detox, he said. But it does raise the question of what can be done to keep people safe after the drugs are out of their system. 

In Monroe County, where the medical examiner reported 220 people died last year of an opioid overdose, and law enforcement says 85 have died through June of this year, that’s a question that demands an answer.

Mendoza is the health professional at Walk and Talk with a Doc on Tuesday, July 17, at the Westside Farmers Market in the parking lot of St. Monica Church, 831 Genesee St.

Mendoza will talk about addiction treatment options, including greater involvement by primary care doctors. The conversation with Democrat and Chronicle healthy life reporter Patti Singer will run from 5:30 to 5:45 p.m. and will be shown via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/DemocratandChronicle/. You can submit your questions through Facebook Live starting at 5:30 p.m.

The talk will be ASL interpreted. Following the talk, the interpreter will stay at the market until 6:15 p.m. Mendoza will continue the conversation on an approximately 1-mile walk around the neighborhood.

The Westside Farmers Market runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Oct. 9.

PSINGER@Gannett.com