by Eden Laikin
In response to a rise in fatal overdoses of Opioids among returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, the Mental Health Association of Nassau County and the Veterans Health Alliance of Long Island will host a free “Overdose Prevention” workshop for veterans, their family members, and other stakeholders on November 12th from 9:30am – 11:30am at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building, located at 1550 Franklin Avenue in Mineola. Participants will learn to recognize the signs of an overdose and administer the lifesaving antidote Narcan which helps to reverse the deadly effects of heroin and prescription painkillers.
“Long Island is home to more than 138,000 veterans, making it one of the heaviest veteran populations in the nation,” said County Executive Mangano. “This free overdose prevention seminar is a critical step in helping as our veterans as the death rate from opiate overdoses among veterans nationwide is almost double the average according to a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting.”
In addition to the training residents to recognize and respond to an overdose, presentations will be delivered by a veteran in recovery, a veteran peer support facilitator, and a local substance abuse provider that has an expertise in treating veterans. Representatives from 12-step groups, the VA, and other local substance use providers will also be present to provide information and resource tables.
Narcan training is provided by the Nassau County Department of Human Services – Office of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency & Developmental Disabilities Services’ (OMHCDDDS) Behavioral Health Awareness Campaign. Since the OMHCDDDS became a state-certified Overdose Responder program in September 2012, officials there have trained more than 2,000 citizens, including family members of those addicted to drugs. Narcan, administered through a nasal spray, is provided at no charge to those over the age of 18 who complete the training, thanks to the state health department.
No prior medical experience is necessary to participate in the training. Anyone can attend but seating is limited. You must pre-register either to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (516) 571-6105; or by calling the Mental Health Association at (516) 489-2322 ex. 1250.