Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, along with his wife Linda and Presiding Officer of the Nassau County Legislature Norma Gonsalves, joined with hundreds of residents at a “Hands & Hearts Against Heroin Addiction” program on the eve of Valentine’s Day, Monday, February 13th at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola. The program united residents with members of the local substance abuse treatment and advocacy community in the fight against heroin and prescription drug addiction. The dome of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building was illuminated in red in remembrance of those that have been lost to addiction, and as a sign of hope for those suffering from the disease.
“This Valentine’s Day, we hold our loved ones especially close. Together, we will remember those who lost the battle with drug addiction, and we will reignite our pledge to do all that we can to keep families whole and stop the scourge of opiate-related deaths,” said County Executive Mangano.
The event included a resource fair, which offered attendees an opportunity to gather information about various treatment agencies and other advocacy groups. The official program featured genuine stories of hope and recovery and information on access to addiction treatment programs. Friends and family members who lost loved ones to the disease of addiction were invited to bring photos of them to attach to red hearts, which were given out at the ceremony.
Partnering with County Executive Mangano on this program were: Families in Support of Treatment (F.I.S.T.); Long Island Recovery Association (LIRA); Long Island Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence (LICADD); and the Nassau Alliance for Addiction Services (NAFAS).
The Mangano administration has made tremendous strides in the effort to combat the opiate epidemic in Nassau County. Nassau County staff has helped to train nearly 8,000 individuals to administer an antidote that reverses the deadly effects of an overdose. Additionally, Mangano launched a program known as “A Shot at Life” which provides counseling, along with medication which cuts cravings by blocking the brains receptors and stops the euphoric effects of opiates. On the enforcement side, the Nassau County Police Department formed a task force with the Suffolk Police, State Police and DEA to help track down the source of drugs in fatal overdose cases and take down the ‘drug thugs’ plaguing our community.