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Mangano To Sponsor Drug Prevention Workshop

Citing a 52% increase in prescription drug and heroin related deaths from 2010 to 2011, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano is hosting a Drug Treatment, Prevention and Education Workshop on Wednesday, April 18th at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage for parents and family members of drug abusers. The two-hour workshop is intended to provide information and education to parents of children and others dealing with the problems relating to heroin and prescription painkiller addiction. This is the first of what will be several workshops that County Executive Mangano intends to sponsor.

County Executive Mangano stated, “I am hopeful that the information being provided in this workshop has the potential to save lives. We are bringing together the resources necessary to deal with the opiate crisis here in Nassau County and to alert parents as to the risk factors so they will have an awareness before the deadly impacts of drug abuse become a reality.”

Recently released statistics from the medical examiner’s office indicate that 149 residents died last year from prescription opiates or heroin and another 310 residents who died had these Opiates in their system at the time of their death. In 2010, 98 people died from these drugs. The largest spike was in deaths related to Oxycodone, which have surpassed heroin deaths for the second year in a row.

Toxicologists believe that most of the drug-related deaths are accidental, often from mixing drugs with adverse reactions. The workshop will provide information on lifesaving techniques for those faced with someone in distress from a drug overdose. Since death from an overdose is rarely spontaneous, there is a 1-3 hour window in which to perform measures that could ultimately save the life of someone who has accidently overdosed.

“My administration has worked closely with Federal, State and local authorities to create safeguards around the issue of prescription drug abuse. In Nassau County we have installed Prescription Drug Disposal Bins in each police precinct for residents to shed unwanted medications from their homes. We have also held a security summit for pharmacy workers and provided education for both students and teachers. We are doing everything we can to reduce those statistics in 2012,” added County Executive Mangano.

The April 18th workshop will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center at 510 Grumman Road West, Suite 201, in Bethpage. Speakers will include Dr. Thomas Jan, a physician specializing in pain-management and addiction medicine who is trained in overdose prevention and Felicia Schneberg, Director of Education/Training at the Nassau County Office of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency & Developmental Disabilities Services.

Reservations are required as space is limited. Contact Eden Laikin at elaikin@nassaucountyny.gov or call (516) 571-6105.