Learning How to Counter an Overdose

Alterra Jackson learned how to administer naloxone at a community clinic. (Photo by Stephanie Daniel for Voices of NY)

On average, two New Yorkers died from a heroin overdose every day in 2013. As the death toll continues to rise, the state has expanded access to naloxone – a lifesaving medication that blocks opioid receptors and thereby reverses an opioid overdose. In 2006, police, firefighters and other first responders started to get trained to administer naloxone. Since then, the program has expanded greatly and now other organizations – like health care centers, community groups and drug treatment programs – also teach how to use the drug.

According to the state, more than 83,000 people have been trained as overdose responders through registered programs in New York, and on March 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would support an expanded program to counter opioid addiction. The city now plans to provide 100,000 naloxone kits to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Police Department, the Department of Social Services and Correctional Health Services, a division of NYC Health + Hospitals, so that health care providers, first responders and shelter providers can have access to the tools they need to save lives.

Stephanie Daniel, 2016 graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, attended a naloxone training at a community-based organization in the South Bronx. Listen to her report below.

This report is the third in a series of Voices of NY stories looking at health equity issues in the NYC area. Support for the series has been provided by the New York State Nurses Association.

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