Offers a Series of Free Life-Saving Seminars to Family Members of Those Struggling with Substance Abuse
In an effort to support family members of those struggling with substance abuse and to help save lives, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, County Legislator Denise Ford and Legislator Laura Schaefer last night lit the dome of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building purple in recognition of New York State’s Good Samaritan Law. The Law is designed to reduce preventable overdose deaths by encouraging people to call 911 if they witness a drug overdose, without fear of being arrested for low level drug possession. Purple is the color that represents Overdose Prevention. The County Executive was joined by family members who lost loved ones to drug addiction, including the family of a Garden City resident who died after a friend declined to call 911 during an overdose.
County Executive Mangano stated, “Overdose deaths are now the leading cause of accidental death in the nation, exceeding even motor vehicle accidents among people ages 25 to 64. The chance of surviving an overdose, like that of surviving a heart attack, depends greatly on how fast one receives medical assistance.”
Many deaths are preventable, if emergency medical assistance is summoned, but people using drugs or alcohol illegally often fear arrest if they call 911. New York joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia by enacting the Good Samaritan Law; however, laws do not protect people from arrest for other offenses, such as selling or trafficking drugs, or driving while drugged. These policies protect only the caller and overdose victim from arrest and/or prosecution for simple drug possession, possession of paraphernalia, and/or being under the influence.
“It is very important that we bring awareness to both overdose prevention, and the Good Samaritan law,” said Legislator Ford. “If you witness a drug overdose, please call 911. You could save a life.”
Dr. Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Executive Director of L.I. Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence (LICADD), added, “Drug overdoses have become a leading cause of death nationwide and Nassau County has been hit particularly hard as our region struggles with an historic opiate crisis. Education is key and this event helps in raising awareness about overdose prevention strategies and should spur some important conversations around the dinner table about substance use. We appreciate and laud County Executive Mangano’s exceptional leadership and look forward to a time when we have completely eliminated overdoses through prevention, access to addiction treatment and support for people in recovery.”
The Mangano administration is offering free lifesaving seminars aimed at educating family members on how to administer a medication known as Narcan, or Naloxone, that can reverse the fatal effects of an Opiate overdose. Seminars also educate trainees on how to recognize the signs of an overdose and perform rescue breathing techniques. Upcoming seminars will take place, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., on:
Attendees over the age of 18 will receive a free Narcan kit at the end of the training program. No prior medical experience is necessary to participate in the training. Narcan has been on ambulances and in emergency rooms for decades; however, State law allows ordinary citizens to administer it in an emergency situation without fear of a lawsuit or arrest. All trainees will receive a certificate of completion. To attend, please RSVP to Eden Laikin at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (516) 571-6105.