Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that Nassau’s volunteer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) are now prepared to save the life of someone overdosing on heroin or painkillers, after completing an overdose prevention seminar at The Morrelly Center for Homeland Security on July 20th. More than 60 members of CERT and the MRC were trained to recognize an overdose and administer Naloxone - an opiate overdose antidote - and were provided the antidote for free.
County Executive Mangano stated, “We are combatting the national heroin epidemic and keeping families whole through awareness, education, enforcement and treatment initiatives. Our free Overdose Prevention Seminars have trained nearly 7,200 citizens to administer Naloxone. I thank members of my administrations’ volunteer Community Emergency Response Team and Medical Reserve Corps for their dedication to our citizens and for hosting this vital training.”
Nassau’s Office of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency became the first County agency in the State, in September 2012, to be certified as an Overdose Prevention Responder agency. Since then, the Mangano administration has trained firefighters, EMTs, school personnel, Auxiliary Police, 911 Operators, drug treatment facility workers, social service workers, Public Safety Officers, veteran’s agency staff, members of local churches and synagogues and community-based coalition members – to administer the lifesaving antidote, Naloxone. Dozens of residents have been saved from potentially fatal opioid overdoses by having Naloxone administered by the County’s trainees.
The Mangano administration continues its awareness efforts by assigning Nassau County Police to speak with students on the dangers of drugs. The County Department of Human Services also educates residents about the relationship among mental health, substance abuse and physical health, and the importance of integrated care and treatment for the whole person. To treat those addicted to opiates, the Mangano administration last year launched “A Shot at Life” - a recovery program that provides counseling with monthly injections of the non-narcotic injectable medication, Naltrexone, which caps the opiate receptors in the brain, blocking the drug’s euphoric effects. “A Shot at Life” offers the brain time to heal and has the potential to save lives, while decreasing incarceration and recidivism. The County also partnered with St. Bernard’s Church in Levittown to form the first Naltrexone Education and Support Group.
Law enforcement efforts in the County have also been bolstered by the Narcotic’s police partnership formed between Nassau and Suffolk counties to combine resources and track down the sources of fatal heroin overdoses.
“Our police will continue aggressively hunting down drug dealers to remove them from our streets,” added County Executive Mangano.
For more information on “A Shot at Life”, please visit www.nassaucountyny.gov/ashotatlife. For more information on upcoming Overdose Prevention Seminars, please visit www.nassaucountyny.gov/overdose.