By Eden Laikin
At least 87 people in Nassau have died from Opioid overdoses since January – that’s about 10 deaths each month, or nearly 3 a week.
Massapequa and Merrick had the highest numbers, with at least 5 people in each community overdosing and dying, in the last 8 months of 2014. And those were the ones reported and autopsied.
Lynbrook and East Rockaway each had at least 4 fatal overdoses since January; Bellmore and Long Beach each had 3, and at least 2 people overdosed and died in each of these communities: Baldwin, East Meadow, Hempstead, Hicksville, North Bellmore, Oceanside, Rockville Centre and Seaford in those 8 months.
Opioids repress the body’s respiratory system, causing the person to stop breathing and can lead to Cardiac arrest.
At the same time the Heroin & Opioid death toll continues to mount, more police officers, first responders and ordinary citizens are being trained in how to administer Narcan, a powerful opiate antidote, to reverse the fatal effects of an Opioid overdose. And, lives continue to be saved.
In all, police and EMTs in Nassau responded to an additional 369 non-fatal overdoses, throughout the County from Jan through Aug 2014 – 61 of them were in the Massapequa/Massapequa Park area. Of the others, Baldwin was a distant second, with 20 non-fatal overdose reports; East Meadow had 18; Hicksville had 17; Bethpage had 16; Wantagh had 15; Bellmore & North Bellmore had 14; Oceanside had 13, and Merrick and Syosset each had 12 reported overdoses that did not become fatal. At least 14 other communities reported overdoses that turned out to be non-fatal, but had less than 12 cases and aren’t counted here.
Just last week, 2 Nassau police officers saved the life of an overdose victim from Syosset who was found unconscious outside a Levittown home on August 25. According to police, a 911 call was received reporting a 27-year-old man as unconscious and barely breathing in the rear yard of a Peacock Lane home, apparently due to an overdose, police said.
When police arrived, they administered two doses of Narcan, to the man at about 4:15 p.m. The man began to breath, regained consciousness and was transferred to an area hospital by Nassau County Ambulance Bureau for further evaluation and treatment.
In all, Nassau police officers have saved the lives of at least 10 residents by using the Narcan they were trained in and equipped with earlier this year. Just between May and June, officers saved the lives of six men and women who had overdosed in Massapequa, Wantagh and Merrick.
Nassau’s Office of Mental Health & Chemical Dependency became state-certified as a Narcan training program in September 2012 and has so far trained more than 2,000 ordinary citizens how to administer the powerful antidote. Several saves have been reported to that program, including 2 mothers who saved their children and a sister who saved her brother’s life.
No prior medical training is needed to learn how to use Narcan. Free intra-nasal Narcan kits are given out to those age 18 and older, at the end of each Narcan training/Overdose Prevention session.
The County brings together and provides information and resources on drug abuse prevention, education, treatment and recovery – at each event.
The next 4 FREE public lifesaving training sessions will be held:
Tues, 9/23, 9:30am-11:30 – Mental Health Assn, 16 Main Street, Hempstead.
Thurs, 10/2 – Massapequa High School, 4925 Merrick Road
Tues, 10/7 – Valley Stream American Legion Hall, 51 Roosevelt Avenue
Thurs, 10/9 – Garden City High School, 170 Rockaway Avenue
(all the October trainings are from 7pm-9pm.)
Additionally, to aid in combatting the problem from a prevention and treatment angle, Nassau’s Office of Mental Health & Chemical Dependency funds more than 30 agencies that provide various forms of substance abuse and mental health treatment: Crisis; Community Residential; Opioid Treatment; and Outpatient Treatment Services.
These agencies are listed below. The outpatient drug treatment programs that are also licensed by the state Office of Mental Health to provide counseling and services for those with mental health issues underlying their drug abuse issues, are:
Peninsula Counseling Center, Inc.
Central Nassau Guidance Center
Hispanic Counseling Center
Southeast Nassau Guidance Center
North Shore Child & Family Guidance
South Shore Child Guidance
Mercy Medical Center
Angelo Melillo Center
COMPLETE LIST OF NASSAU’S CONTRACT AGENCIES
Maryhaven Center of Hope – New Hope Crisis Center 546-7070 Freeport
Community Residential Services
Maryhaven Center of Hope – Mercy Hall/Women 868-2244 Freeport
– Recovery House/Men 977 -2050 Uniondale
Opioid Treatment Services (state-licensed outpatient programs that treat clients with methadone and suboxone as part of treatment.)
Nassau Cty Dept Mental Health & Chemical Dependency 572-5906 East Meadow
Long Island Jewish Medical Center (718) 470-8944 Glen Oaks
Outpatient Treatment Services
Bethpage Adolescent Development Assoc. 433-6069 Bethpage
Community Counseling Services of W. Nassau 328-1717 Franklin Square
Freeport Pride, Inc. 546-2822 Freeport
South Shore Child Guidance Assn 378-2992 Freeport
Mercy Medical Center – Family Counseling Services 705-3407 Garden City
Angelo J. Melillo Center for Mental Health 676-2388 Glen Cove
COPAY, Inc. 466-2509 Great Neck
Counseling Service of E.D.N.Y., Inc. 481-0052 Hempstead
Education Assistance Center, Inc. 486-3222 Hempstead
Family and Children’s Association – 486-7200 Hempstead
– 935-6858 Hicksville
Hispanic Counseling Center, Inc. 538-2613 Hempstead
Central Nassau Community Counseling Ctr 822-4060 Hicksville
Five Towns Community Center, Inc. 239-6244 Lawrence
Long Beach Reach 889-2332 (Long Beach/Lynbrook/PT Washington)
Youth Environmental Services, Inc. 799-3203 Massapequa
Tempo Group, Inc. 546-9008 Merrick;
LIJ Medical Center – Mineola Counseling 742-4015 Mineola
Project Outreach 481-2890 West Hempstead
Oceanside Counseling Center, Inc. 766-6283 Oceanside
Youth & Family Counseling – Oyster Bay 922-6867 Oyster Bay
Rockville Centre Drug & Alcohol Abuse – Confide 764-5522 RVC
The React Center, Inc. 623-7741 Roosevelt
Southeast Nassau Guidance Center 679-9800 Seaford; 781-1911Wantagh
Friends of Bridge, Inc. 825-4242 Valley Stream
Peninsula Counseling Center, Inc. 872-9698 Valley Stream
North Shore Child & Family Guidance Ctr 997-2926 Westbury