Naloxone is administered by nasal spray and has saved the lives of many who have overdosed on opioids such as heroin, prescription pain killers, and fentanyl.
By Forum Staff
Borough President Melinda Katz will join NYC Health + Hospitals and the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene later this month in sponsoring an event to train members of the public on how they can save the lives of people suffering from opioid overdoses.
The event is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon in the auditorium (Room A1-22) of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst at 79-01 Broadway in Elmhurst. According to the borough president’s office, attendees will learn how recognize an opioid overdose and how to properly and safely administer naloxone medication to reverse it.
Katz noted that naloxone, known commonly by the brand name Narcan, is a medication that can be used on an emergency basis by non-medical professionals to treat opioid overdoses to prevent fatalities.
Naloxone is an “opioid antagonist” that counteracts the life-threatening depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems suffered during an opioid overdose. Administration of naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing and save the life of a person overdosing on opioids. It is a safe medication widely used by emergency medical personnel and other first responders to prevent opioid overdose deaths.
Naloxone is administered by nasal spray and has saved the lives of many who have overdosed on opioids such as heroin, prescription pain killers, and fentanyl, Katz said.
The free training session will include remarks from Katz, followed by a presentation from NYC Health + Hospitals/ Elmhurst about the nationwide opioid epidemic and its impact in Queens. It will be followed by a DOHMH-facilitated training on how to administer the naloxone nasal spray. Free kits containing naloxone nasal spray will be distributed at the end of the training to individuals age 12 and older.
The training will also feature information about what NYC Health + Hospitals is doing to combat the opioid epidemic, what treatment is available in The World’s Borough for opioid addiction, and what New Yorkers can do to prevent overdoses.
The Sept. 26 training session is part of NYC Health + Hospitals’ effort to hold free opioid overdose and naloxone training and dispensing events at all 11 of its public hospitals by the end of 2019. The effort is part of HealingNYC, a Citywide initiative to prevent opioid overdoses that helped the City achieve a 3-percent reduction last year in its annual number of unintentional drug-overdose deaths—its first annual reduction in eight years. The reduction was especially sharp in Queens, which saw its number of overdose deaths drop to 215 in 2018 from 270 in 2017.
“We are in the middle of an opioid epidemic that has claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people in New York City in the past two years alone,” Katz said. “We can help address this crisis by learning how to administer potentially lifesaving naloxone to those overdosing on opioids, empowering family members, friends and neighbors with the information to assist. It is my privilege to partner with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in co-sponsoring this vitally important training session, which will put naloxone in the hands of our borough’s residents and save many more lives.”