TUNKHANNOCK -- Wyoming County has a new weapon in the fight against the growing opioid crisis.
"We are losing way too many of our kids to a substance use disorder with the primary substance of abuse being opioids," says Human Services Director Michael Donahue.
"Wyoming County Hope" is a new coalition that is calling on many of the county's resources to battle the issue.
"It's bringing agencies together to go at this thing, and that's what we need," says Wyoming County Emergency Management Director Gene Dziak.
Emergency Management says the group is particularly needed for a rural community where responding to emergencies can take a while.
"In order to combat these overdoses, time is not our friend," says Dziak
And although crews are equipped with Narcan to reverse overdoses, it isn't enough.
Wyoming County officials tell Newswatch 16 this coalition will work to identify causes and help find solutions to the opioid crisis here.
"I'm elated, that people want to get involved. that it's no longer someone else's problem, we've accepted it's our problem, now we have to come up with the answers," Donahue tells Newswatch 16.
Especially in a county that is seeing an increase in deaths associated with opioid use.
"It`s happening to more and more people. It covers all walks of life um social and economic it touches absolutely everybody," says Alan Thatcher, the Deputy Coroner of Wyoming County.
The coalition is partnering with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh to analyze data and develop its strategy. The group's goal: to bring down the rising number of opioid-related deaths in Wyoming County to zero.