YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Most people know someone affected by heroin or pain medication addiction. And while the epidemic is growing, so are emergency treatments which can save lives, and a local group recently provided training about them.
Late last month, 29 people attended the class to educate the public about specific things they can do to save a person's life if they are overdosing on heroin or pain medicine.
While Naloxone -- medication that attempts to reverse the effects of an overdose -- had previously only been available in an injectable form, it's now also available in a nasal spray. Common brands are Evzio and Narcan, and the easier administration may increase the number of lives saved.
Registered nurse Edward Dubee, from the Blaisdell Addiction Treatment Center, led the class, and members of Crisis in Our Backyard, a local grassroots group, who are trained to administer Narcan provided the actual training.
The two-hour class about opioids and heroin was held at The Counseling Center in Yorktown Heights, an outpatient addiction treatment center for adults and adolescents seeking treatment for addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring disorders associated with addiction and substance use.
"Just like each of us are trained in the use of fire extinguishers, it should be mandated that people be trained in the administration of Narcan," said Alyssa Tortorella, a counselor in Yorktown.Attendees received a complimentary Narcan training kit.
Dair Melendez-Drier, clinical director of The Counseling Center, said, "If we cannot solve the problem and diminish opiate use entirely, we better be prepared to save some lives."
The Counseling Center has an open forum for discussing these issues, and its employees urge anyone with questions to contact them to discuss them in private. They can also answer general questions by phone, at 914-962-5101.
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