Thursday, September 26

QUEENS, NY – As part of National Recovery Month, Borough President Melinda Katz will join NYC Health + Hospitals and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in sponsoring an event to train members of the public on how they can save the lives of people suffering from opioid overdoses.

The training will be held Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. to noon in the auditorium (Room A1-22) of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst at 79-01 Broadway in Elmhurst. Attendees will learn how to recognize an opioid overdose and how to properly and safely administer naloxone medication to reverse it.

Naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan®) is a medication that can be used on an emergency basis by non-medical professionals to treat opioid overdoses to prevent fatalities. Naloxone is administered by nasal spray and has saved the lives of many who have overdosed on opioids such as heroin, prescription pain killers and fentanyl.

“We are in the middle of an opioid epidemic that has claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people in New York City in the past two years alone,” said Borough President KATZ. “We can help address this crisis by learning how to administer potentially lifesaving naloxone to those overdosing on opioids, empowering family members, friends and neighbors with the information to assist. It is my privilege to partner with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in co-sponsoring this vitally important training session, which will put naloxone in the hands of our borough’s residents and save many more lives.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst is pleased to partner with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the NYC Health Department to host this crucial program about how to assist those at risk for an opioid overdose,” said ISRAEL ROCHA, Vice President of NYC Health + Hospitals and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. “Giving the general public free training on how to use naloxone can empower Queens residents to save lives and prevent further overdose deaths.”

“Naloxone saves lives and is helping us turn the tide on the overdose epidemic,” said Health Commissioner DR. OXIRIS BARBOT. “If you or someone you know uses drugs, it is essential to have a naloxone kit on hand in case of an overdose. This course will teach you the steps to responding to opioid overdose and provide access to a free kit. I thank Borough President Katz and H+H/Elmhurst for hosting the training.”

This free, two-hour training session will include remarks from Borough President Katz, followed by a presentation from NYC Health + Hospitals/ Elmhurst about the nationwide opioid epidemic and its impact in Queens. It will be followed by a DOHMH-facilitated training on how to administer naloxone nasal spray.  Free kits containing naloxone nasal spray will be distributed at the end of the training to individuals age 12 and older.

The training will also include information about what NYC Health + Hospitals is doing to combat the opioid epidemic, what treatment is available in Queens for opioid addiction, and what New Yorkers can do to prevent opioid overdoses.

Naloxone is an “opioid antagonist” that counteracts the life-threatening depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems suffered during an opioid overdose. Administration of naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing and save the life of a person overdosing on opioids. It is a safe medication widely used by emergency medical personnel and other first responders to prevent opioid overdose deaths. Unfortunately, by the time a person having an overdose is reached, it is often too late.

Friends, family and Good Samaritan bystanders can save more lives by quickly administering naloxone to those experiencing opioid overdoses. Naloxone distribution programs, like the September 26 session to be co-sponsored by Borough President Katz, provide naloxone kits to anyone in a position to save the life of someone at risk of an opioid overdose.

The September 26 training session is part of NYC Health + Hospitals’ effort to hold free opioid overdose and naloxone training and dispensing events at all 11 of its public hospitals by the end of 2019. The effort is part of HealingNYC, a Citywide initiative to prevent opioid overdoses that helped the City achieve a three percent reduction last year in its annual number of unintentional drug overdose deaths, its first annual reduction in eight years. The reduction was especially sharp in Queens, which saw its number of overdose deaths drop from 270 in 2017 to 215 in 2018.

Despite this good news, the number of overdose deaths still remains high. DOHMH reports that that 1,444 people died due to unintentional drug overdoses in New York City in 2018. Nationwide, opioid use accounted for more than two-thirds of the 70,237 people killed by drug overdoses in 2017, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

National Recovery Month is sponsored each September by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to increase awareness and understanding about mental and substance use disorders and to celebrate the people who recover from them.


WHAT:            Borough President Katz to Co-Sponsor Free Opioid Overdose Response Training

WHEN:           Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. until noon

WHERE:         NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst (Auditorium, Room A1-22) 79-01 Broadway in Elmhurst

WHO:              MELINDA KATZ, Queens Borough President

                        NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS



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