Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony J. Santino, Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito are passionately fighting heroin deaths. Today, the officials announced that Hempstead Town will offer Narcan training for community groups and organizations, beginning with the Chabad of Mineola. Narcan kits can quickly reverse the effects of a narcotic overdose and are essential in combating heroin deaths. They were joined by Chabad of Mineola Leader Rabbi Anchelle Perl and Town of Hempstead Medical Director Dr. Dave Neubert.
“We want to offer this training to as many community groups and organizations as possible,” stated Supervisor Santino. “The more groups we equip, train, and inform, the more effective we will be in preventing heroin deaths.”
After Town of Hempstead lifeguards saved an overdose victim earlier this year, the importance of implementing programs to fight heroin deaths has become apparent. Hempstead Town has since been designated as an opioid overdose prevention trainer by the New York State Board of Health. The town has recently equipped vital personnel with training and Narcan kits, and is now spreading awareness to all communities across the area.
“The use of Narcan can save lives,” said Senior Councilwoman Goosby. “Training people and supplying Narcan is crucial to giving those who are confronted with narcotic overdoses the ability to help victims.”
“Saving an overdose victim with the use of Narcan can give those addicted to heroin a second chance at reclaiming their lives,” said Councilman Blakeman. “I salute Supervisor Santino for spearheading this lifesaving initiative.”
“As a former law enforcement official, I have seen firsthand the devastating impact heroin abuse has had on friends and families,” added Councilman D’Esposito. “It is certainly not pretty, and the prevention of these tragedies is incredibly important to me.”
Chabad of Mineola will be the first community group trained by the Town of Hempstead. The training includes identifying an overdosed victim, administering the Narcan kit, and contacting emergency officials. After the training, the town will provide the Chabad of Mineola with their own set of Narcan kits. By supplying communities with this information and Narcan kits, the town is taking crucial steps toward combating fatal overdoses.
“Our goal is to make it ‘Kosher’ to become an Overdose Responder,” included Rabbi Perl, “And more importantly through this program, strive to build a caring community that is aware of and responsive to the problems of heroin and supports individuals and families who struggle with addiction.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more overdose deaths in 2014 than any previous year on record, and the number of deaths from opioids has quadrupled since 1999. From 2000 to 2014, nearly 500,000 people nationwide died from a drug overdose.
“It is imperative that we partner with the local groups and organizations when facing this deadly foe,” concluded Supervisor Santino. “It is not a problem that we can face alone, and we encourage communities from all walks of life to utilize the training that we offer.”