Training was one of over 600 internationally recognized events to raise awareness of overdose and drug-related deaths
Bronx, NY - Senator Jeff Klein and Councilman Rafael Salamanca joined members from OASAS, Forward South Bronx Coalition and the New York State Department of Health to host a free naloxone training in Hunts Point on International Overdose Awareness Day. Community members were given free Naloxone kits, as well as instructions on how to properly administer the life-saving drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdose. Representatives from NYS DOH updated the public on New York State’s efforts to eliminate co-payments for insured individuals looking to obtain this live saving medication
“The Bronx has been hard hit by the heroin and opioid epidemic, which is why I’m doing everything in my power to help spread awareness and combat this deadly scourge. The Naloxone kits supplied at our International Heroin Overdose Day training will provide families across my district with a life-saving medication should their loved ones fall victim to the opioid epidemic,” said Senator Klein.
“Naloxone trainings are crucially important as we continue to see a rise in overdoses in our community and I'm pleased to partner with Senator Klein and Urban Health Plan to hopefully help save lives,” said Councilman Salamanca, Jr.
“What better way to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day than by training people to use Naloxone, to reverse overdoses and save lives,” said New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, OASAS and the New York State Department of Health have trained thousands of people across the state in this life-saving technique. I’d like to thank Senator Klein and City Councilmember Salamanca for their partnership in organizing this event.”
“New York State continues to take aggressive steps to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic, including the Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program, a first-in-the nation program to provide no-cost or lower-cost naloxone at pharmacies statewide,” said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “Our actions build upon the landmark legislation Governor Cuomo signed into law last year and this year's investment of over $200 million in additional support for prevention, treatment and recovery programs which address chemical dependency, expand residential service opportunities, and promote public awareness and education. On International Overdose Awareness Day and every day, the Department of Health remains dedicated to giving New Yorkers the tools they need to break the cycle of misery caused by heroin and opioid abuse and find their path to recovery.”
“In my faith-based tradition, it is believed that to save one life is as if you have saved all of humanity,” said Forward South Bronx Chairman, Cedric McClester. “By offering this training, we are saving lives and therefore saving humanity.”
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event to help spread awareness of overdose and drug-related deaths. The Hunts Point training was one of more than 600 internationally recognized events that took place on Thursday across over a dozen countries. The city, and the South Bronx specifically, have been stricken by the opioid epidemic in recent years. The South Bronx experienced 308 overdose deaths in 2016, the highest in the city.