(Pound Ridge, NY) - State Senators Shelley Mayer and Pete Harckham, County Legislator Erika Pierce, and the Pound Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Corps (PRVAC) hosted a Narcan (Naloxone) training on Thursday, July 20. The training was led by an Opioid Overdose Training Coordinator from the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS).
Narcan (Naloxone) is an opioid antagonist used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. All attendees at the training were instructed on how to identify an opioid overdose and how to administer Narcan. Attendees also received a two-year Naloxone certification and a free Narcan emergency kit after completing the training.
Senator Shelley Mayer said, "I am pleased to co-host this training with my colleagues Senator Pete Harckham and County Legislator Erika Pierce, in partnership with PRVAC. It is critical and can be life saving for members of our community to know how to administer narcan and to have a kit on hand in case of an emergency. I am grateful for those who attended and for OASAS for their continued efforts in ensuring New Yorkers across the state have access to this training and narcan kits. I would like to thank the Pound Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Corps for providing use of their headquarters for this training, as well as Senator Pete Harckham and County Legislator Erika Pierce for their committed efforts in ensuring the safety and wellness of our community."
Senator Pete Harckham said, "The opioid epidemic and overdose crisis, exacerbated by fentanyl, continues to impact residents in the Hudson Valley and across the state. While stopping overdoses from happening is our utmost goal, harm reduction is a major factor in dealing with Substance Use Disorder. Having community members equipped with naloxone and the training to use it properly can literally save lives, and I am grateful to Senator Mayer, Legislator Pierce, the Pound Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Corps and OASAS for joining me in making this necessary training possible."
County Legislator Erika Pierce said, "Naloxone trainings are so important to communities like those in District 2. The ability for residents, community leaders and first responders to be able to learn how to identify and reverse overdose is critical, particularly when travel times to the hospital are long. Overdose is an issue for all community members, and all of us should be partners in protecting our neighbors. I am so thankful to Senators Mayer and Harckham and the members of the Pound Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Corps for working together on this important initiative."
Tina August from the Pound Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Corps said, "The Pound Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Corps was delighted to be able to offer our local community training on Narcan to address the opioid positioning epidemic. We believe getting this type of information out broadly will save lives. Our group of volunteers hope to continue to offer these types of programs in the future."
OASAS Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham said, "Naloxone is a vital tool in the ongoing efforts to address addiction and prevent overdoses across New York State, and learning how to use this medication to reverse an overdose is one of the most important ways people can take an active role in overdose prevention in their community. These training events help to support our ongoing efforts to educate New Yorkers about how to recognize and respond to an overdose, giving them the knowledge they need to save a life."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), opioids are involved in nearly 75% of all drug overdose deaths. There were 106,699 overdose deaths in 2021; and from 2019 to 2020, New York alone saw a 39.6% increase in overdose deaths.
The Narcan training was open to everyone in the Westchester community and hosted by the Pound Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The 18 attendees received a two year certification and a free emergency kit of Naloxone after completing the training.
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).