Senator Andrew Lanza, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, CHASI & TYSA Sponsor Opioid Overdose Prevention Event
Senator Lanza and Assemblyman Cusick yesterday sponsored a free opioid overdose prevention event at New Dorp High School to train Staten Islanders on how to prevent heroin and opiate overdoses from becoming fatal by using intra-nasal Naloxone (Narcan). Naloxone, a highly effective prescription antidote used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, has been credited with saving hundreds of lives in New York. This event is the second such event at New Dorp HS. Lanza and Cusick, with the assistance of CHASI, have trained thousands of Islanders and continue to work tirelessly on efforts to combat this scourge.
Community Health Action of Staten Island provided training on how to recognize an overdose, what to do during an overdose, and how to administer Narcan. Upon completion of the course, participants became certified to administer the life-saving antidote and were provided with Naloxone rescue kits to bring home.
Senator Andrew Lanza said, “As we attempt to address the underlying issues driving the alarming growth in heroin and opiate abuse and work to expand available treatment, it is critical that we do whatever we can to keep our family members, friends and neighbors alive. With overdoses now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, we have to do everything we can to ensure that this free, life-saving training is made available to as many people as possible. I thank my partners, Assemblyman Mike Cusick, Community Health Action of Staten Island, TYSA and New Dorp High School, and applaud all of the participants for their hard work.”
Assemblyman Mike Cusick said, “With the drug epidemic continuing to grow on Staten Island, it is essential that we equip our neighbors with the tools and knowledge on how to be proactive and save an individual who is experiencing an overdose. This training provides attendees with the knowledge of the dangers associated with these drugs, how to deter the start of drug usage, and how this epidemic not only affects the user but adversely affects family and friends as well. We must continue to educate the public of the harmful effects this epidemic causes and we must stand together in order to combat this disease. I want to thank my partners in government, particularly Senator Lanza, along with Community Health Action of Staten Island and our host, New Dorp High School.”
Deirdre A. DeAngelis, Principal of New Dorp High School said, “As a school community, New Dorp High School is committed to joining the battle to combat this serious opiate overdose epidemic. Too many lives have been lost already. We live in a very small community, and what impacts one family, impacts all of us. As we raise awareness, train more individuals and place proactive mechanisms in place throughout our community, we can only hope that we will be saving those that are members of our Staten Island family. An event like this “Narcan Training”, is not just about giving the members of our community a tool that can save lives, but a way of bringing large numbers of individuals together to bring attention to the problem. I have urged my school community, especially the seniors who will be heading off to college, to take advantage of this opportunity, so that they can always be armed in this ongoing battle.”
Diane Arneth, President/CEO of CHASI said, “Community Health Action is honored and pleased to continue the partnership with Senator Lanza, Assemblyman Cusick and our service partners to bring – literally - life-saving information and resources to our community.”
Adrienne Abbate Executive Director for Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness and Project Director, Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA) said, “Community Narcan trainings are crucial not only because they provide life-saving medication at no-cost to participants, but also because they offer opportunities to be connected with information on opioids, substance use disorder and the many support and treatment programs available on Staten Island. We appreciate the leadership of Senator Lanza and Assemblyman Cusick in sponsoring these events and being at the forefront of the Island's battle with opioids and other substances."
NYPD Assistant Chief Ed Delatorre said, “Working on this crisis is a shared responsibility which includes all First Responders, elected officials and the community. With this Narcan training effort, we’ve seen at least 27 people saved by their family members this year alone that we know of. I thank Senator Lanza and Assembly Member Cusick for their partnership.” Chief Delatorre introduced Ralph from Camelot who spoke about his personal experience with an overdose. Ralph overdosed in May of 2017 and was saved with multiple doses of Narcan administered by NYPD officers along with FDNY EMS.
In 2014, Lanza and Cusick co-sponsored and passed the law that authorized health care professionals to issue non-patient specific orders for Naloxone and allow for events such as this. The legislation (Chapter 42 of 2014) has been instrumental in increasing access to the highly effective antidote.