By Jonathan Sperling
In the midst of National Recovery Month, Borough President Melinda Katz is joining forces with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to help train residents on how to save the lives of people suffering from opioid overdoses.
The training will be held Sept. 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. to noon in the auditorium, Room A1-22, of Elmhurst Hospital, located at 79-01 Broadway in Elmhurst. Attendees will learn how to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose, as well as how to properly and safely administer naloxone medication to reverse it.
Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a medication that can be used by non-medical professionals to treat opioid overdoses to prevent fatalities in emergency situations. Naloxone is administered by nasal spray and can be used to save the lives of those who have overdosed on heroin, prescription painkillers and fentanyl.
Free kits containing naloxone nasal spray will be distributed at the end of the training to people age 12 and older.
Attendees will view a presentation from Elmhurst Hospital about the nationwide opioid epidemic and its impact in Queens.
The training is part of HealingNYC, a city initiative to prevent opioid overdoses that helped to decrease unintentional drug overdose deaths across the city, especially in Queens, where the number of overdose deaths dropped from 270 in 2017 to 215 in 2018.
A total of 1,444 people died due to unintentional drug overdoses in New York City in 2018, according to the DOHMH. Across the nation, opioid use was responsible for more than two-thirds of the 70,237 people killed by drug overdoses in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“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 in a statement. “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.”