ONEONTA, 05/01/14 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced that he will be hosting a free heroin/opioid overdose prevention training class on Wednesday, May 7th at the FoxCare Center in Oneonta.
“A key aspect in the short term battle against heroin and opioid abuse is preventing overdose deaths,” said Senator Seward. “Training more individuals to administer the overdose reversal medicine Naxolone or Narcan will save lives, that’s why I am sponsoring this event and will be among those taking the class on May 7th .”
Narcan is a prescription medicine which can be administered nasally and can revive someone who is overdosing. Currently, in order to obtain this life-saving medication, you must complete a brief training class.
Senator Seward will be partnering with Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties, Inc., and Otsego County Addiction Recovery Services to conduct a free training class that meets New York State Department of Health requirements. Participants will receive a certificate of completion and an emergency resuscitation kit that includes Narcan.
Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties, Inc., Executive Director Jeanette Tolson said, “Offering public trainings about preventing overdose from opioids is a critical step in combating this complicated problem. A community effort bringing together individuals in recovery and their families, friends and allies is essential in long term solution development.”
Otsego County Chemical Dependency Program Manager Justin Thalheimer said, “Narcan is already saving lives and it is a matter of time before it saves a life here if it has not already. Senator Seward’s assistance in highlighting this emergency treatment is a significant step in educating the public.”
Senator Seward is a member of the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. He recently hosted a roundtable discussion to solicit input from local experts on the rise in use of heroin and other opioids. Similar forums are being held across the state, and the task force will use the findings to help develop legislation that will be advanced during this legislative session.
“A comprehensive approach is needed to combat the rise in heroin use, which has reached epidemic proportions. Better education programs, improved insurance coverage for treatment, avenues to help recovering addicts find a job, and stronger criminal penalties for heroin dealers are all under consideration,” added Seward.
The rise in heroin use and the deadly effects of the drug are well documented. A 2012 federal survey on drug use and health reported that the number of people who said they used heroin in the past 12 months rose from 373,000 people in 2007 to 669,000 people in 2012.
The heroin/opioid overdose prevention class will take place on Wednesday, May 7th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Wellness Conference Room, FoxCare Center in Oneonta. The training is free and open to the public. Space is limited and pre-registration is strongly recommended. Click here to fill out the online form or call (607) 432-5524.