Carmel, NY - Everyone knows someone whose life has been devastated by drug addiction. In 2016, more than 42,249 people in the United States died of opioid overdoses, an average of more than 115 deaths per day. People between the ages of 25 to 34 have accounted for the most opioid deaths - 10,732 - an increase of 774% since 1999.
To help slow the escalation of fatalities due to overdoses, Senator Terrence Murphy recently partnered with Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, Arms Acres and Drug Crisis in Our Backyard to sponsor a free Narcan Event. The event led by Tammy Bender, Regional Assistant and Certified Addiction Coach for Arms Acres & Conifer Park, and Marie O'Connor, Project Coordinator Partnership for Success for the Putnam Coalition was held at Arms Acres.
"As a member of the Senate's Heroin and Opioid Task Force, I've traveled throughout the state and seen the many challenges addiction poses to both the user and their families," said Senator Murphy. "I sponsored legislation to keep doctors from writing thirty days' worth of prescriptions; now it's seven days. I implemented a 'Shed the Meds' program that in the past four years has taken thousands of expired and unwanted prescription drugs out of people's medicine cabinets, keeping them out of the wrong hands. I've also been a strong advocate for the use of Narcan. It's pulled many people from the brink of death. This training will put more people on the street who will know how to deal with an overdose, and I'm in favor of that."
A former volunteer firefighter and EMT for the Kent Volunteer Fire Department, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne has also become a proponent for Narcan training. "Everyone has to be a first responder when it comes to the opioid epidemic," he said. "This training can really help save the life of someone you care about or give a total stranger a second chance."
During the training, Ms. Bender noted, "Nearly everyone reacts differently when they are administered Naloxone. Some people may need to have Narcan administered more than once. The key to saving a life is to call 911 as quickly as possible."
"It takes all sectors of the community and strong partnerships to continue the goal of raising awareness about the heroin and opioid epidemic," stated Ms. O'Connor. "Prevention, treatment, and recovery are valuable components but we must keep expanding our ability to manage the ever-increasing number of overdoses in the community. In Putnam County, all first responders are trained in the use of Naloxzone, and all Putnam School Districts have at least one Naloxzone trained registered nurse."