Thursday, December 5

QUEENS, NY – On the heels of a successful training session that Borough President Melinda Katz co-sponsored in late September, the Borough President will again co-sponsor a training event with NYC Health + Hospitals for the public on how they can save the lives of people suffering from opioid overdoses.

The next free public training will be held Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon in the auditorium of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens at 82-68 164th Street in Jamaica. 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.

Borough President Katz originally partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to hold a naloxone training session on September 26 at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. About 75 people were trained in the use of naloxone during that session.

“The use of opioids has led to a crisis in which drug overdoses kill more than 1,400 New Yorkers annually,” said Borough President KATZ. “We can help stop this overdose epidemic by spreading the word on how naloxone can be safely and easily used to save the lives of those overdosing on opioids. It was a privilege to partner with NYC Health + Hospitals in co-sponsoring our first opioid overdose response training session in September, and we look forward to having another successful training event on December 5 at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens.”

The free, two-hour training session on December 5 will include a presentation from NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens about the nationwide opioid epidemic and its impact in Queens. It will be followed by a training presentation 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 session 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.

Anyone wishing to attend the session is asked to RSVP by emailing [email protected] or by calling 718-883-2208.

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 upcoming training session 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 training sessions co-sponsored by Borough President Katz in Queens are part of NYC Health + Hospitals’ effort to hold free opioid overdose and naloxone training and dispensing events at all 11 of its public hospitals citywide by the end of 2019.

New York City saw 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.

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

WHEN:           Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon

WHERE:         NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens (auditorium)

                        82-68 164th Street in Jamaica

RSVP:             Email [email protected] or call 718-883-2208


Follow Borough President Katz via @QueensBPKatz on Twitter and Facebook