NEW ROCHELLE, NY —
What: FREE training for the public on how to respond to an opioid overdose using Naloxone
When: March 11, 2016 at 2 – 4 p.m.
Where: New Rochelle Library
1 Library Plaza
New Rochelle, NY 10801
or call the Division of Health Promotion at 914.995.6584
What is Narcan?
Naloxone is a life-saving drug that can revive overdose victims. Its brand name is Narcan. Naloxone (Narcan) helps restore breathing to a person who is overdosing from opioid drugs such as heroin and prescription drugs such as oxycontin, oxycodone and fentanyl.
How does Narcan save lives?
When administered correctly, the nasal spray Narcan restores breathing that has been dangerously slowed by an overdose of heroin or prescription painkiller. Narcan, the brand name for the drug Naloxone, works within a minute or two and gives emergency responders time to get the person to a hospital.
When given by a trained police officer or community member, Narcan is administered through a nasal spray during an overdose. In a clinical setting, Narcan can be injected intravenously.
What is the nature of the county implementation and use of the drug?
As part of County Executive Rob Astorino’s Safer Communities initiative, Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD has helped train hundreds of police officers throughout Westchester to administer Narcan, and these officers have already saved 17 lives. The training also has become part of the curriculum for all police recruits who attend the Westchester County Police Academy. To date, there are more Naloxone (Narcan) trained law enforcement agencies in Westchester County than any other
county in New York State.
In May, County Executive Astorino expanded Narcan training to the public to increase the potential to save lives and allow substance abusers a chance at recovery. “Family and friends of those struggling with addiction often feel helpless and the worst case scenario of a fatal overdose is always looming,” said Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of Health, who writes the standing orders that cover the prescriptions needed for the county to participate in the New York State Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. “By learning how to reverse an overdose, family and friends can be confident they would be able to revive their loved one and give him or her time to seek treatment.”
How available is the drug to the average citizen?
A doctor’s prescription and training is required before anyone who is not an emergency medical worker can obtain a Narcan kit as part of the county’s Community Opioid Overdose Training. The prescription is provided by Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, through Westchester County’s training programs. Anyone age 18 or older can participate in future training sessions, but space is limited. Those who complete the training will receive a Narcan kit. Check this for future Narcan training sessions. For more information, call the Division of Health Promotion at (914) 995-6584.
Has the drug been saving lives and do you feel it is a particularly effective treatment?
“Narcan is not a panacea,” said Dr. Mark Herceg, Commissioner of the Department of Community Mental Health. “We know that addiction is a brain disease. Mental health treatment and counseling post-Narcan is critical and vital to ensure continued health and well-being for years to come. Addiction adversely impacts every aspect of one’s life.”
For more information about counseling for addiction, call the Department of Community Mental
Health at (914) 995-5220 or follow us on Twitter @WestchesterDCMH.
Please say a bit about the county’s Narcan training:
“We have already trained hundreds of police officers throughout Westchester, and these officers have already saved at least a dozen lives,” County Executive Robert P. Astorino said. “By expanding Narcan training to the public, we are increasing the potential to save lives and give substance abusers a second chance at recovery. We hope that people who are closest to substance abusers will make this a priority.”
What do you feel the role of Narcan in the community will be going forward?
“This training can help save lives and give family, friends and mental health and recovery professionals the time they need to encourage substance abusers to seek treatment,” said Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of Health.
What’s the window of opportunity?
“Narcan can be given to an overdose victim who is barely breathing,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “Once someone stops breathing, you only have a few minutes to save their life by administering Narcan and giving CPR. That’s why it’s so important for more Westchester residents to get this training. The whole point is to keep people alive so they have a second chance to get treatment and turn their lives around, not just for themselves, but for their family and everyone who loves them.”