Over half of the residents of New York have been touched in some way by the opioid epidemic. Unfortunately, as a result of stress and despair due to the COVID-19 pandemic, use of opiates and other drugs has been steadily increasing since early 2020.
Understanding the reasons why opiates are so addictive and deadly and having the power to potentially save the life of someone who is overdosing is more important than ever before.
Nassau County has continued its Narcan education and training sessions virtually via Zoom meetings instead of in person. An upcoming session is scheduled for Wednesday, February 10 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Narcan (naxolone) nasal spray is simple to administer and cannot harm someone who is not overdosing from an opioid. “During the pandemic, opioid use has increased and some treatments have been more difficult to obtain,” Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton said. “These events not only provides people with life-saving Narcan kits, but hearing first hand accounts from volunteers who have experienced this hardship either personally or with loved ones shows how the opioid epidemic can be a slippery slope that affects many families. Awareness is our first line of defense.”
As dangerous and addictive as heroin is on its own, it is often laced with powerful drugs like fentanyl (100 times stronger than morphine) and even carfentanyl, an elephant tranquilizer, which is 1,000 times stronger than heroin. These high-potency drugs add to the horrific statistics of overdose deaths.
Registration for the February 10 session via nassaucountyny.gov/overdosetraining. Training, which is open to adults 18 years or older, will close once the maximum capacity of 70 people register. There is no fee for the training or kit, but registration is required. The life-saving Narcan kits will be available for contactless pickup at 60 Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in Uniondale on Feb. 17 (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.) and February 18 (2 to 4 p.m.) Please feel free to contact Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton’s office at 516-571-6211 or online at nassaucountyny.gov/overdosetraining to register.