By Eden Laikin

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano invites Suffolk County residents to come and learn about Nassau’s newest and successful treatment program for those who are dependent on heroin or pain pills, by attending one of the County’s free weekly education and support groups.

“You can live a life free from opioids, recovery is possible,” County Executive Mangano said. “We have examples of this (medication-assisted) treatment working in residents lives. I invite all Long Islanders to attend our Tuesday night meeting and hear from those currently on the program. Come learn about this pathway to recovery.”

The program, called a Shot at Life, combines monthly injections of long acting Naltrexone – an opioid blocker – with substance abuse counseling or other treatment, for about 15 months. Vivitrol – the brand-name of the non-narcotic, non-addictive shot – is administered by a healthcare professional and therefore can’t be abused or diverted. It works by capping the brain’s opiate receptors for about 28 days, blocking the user’s high and reducing the cravings for opioids.  It’s FDA-approved for relapse prevention, and is covered under most private insurance and Medicaid, and is available at more than a dozen substance abuse treatment agencies across the Island. Recipients should be willing to stop – and opioid-free for 7-10 days – before receiving the initial shot or risk precipitated withdrawal.

Those suffering from addiction, as well as their family members and friends, are welcome to attend the informational meeting which is held from 7pm-9pm on Tuesdays, at Saint Bernard’s Parish school, 2nd floor, room 206.

The FDA first approved Vivitrol for alcohol dependence, in 2006. It was approved to prevent relapse to Opioid addiction in 2010, based on a study of 250 Heroin or Opiate-addicted people in Russia, which found that nearly 70% had successfully stopped using drugs, and, lost the desire for them.

“It’s a great tool for those trying to attain recovery,” Mangano said.

Nassau’s Opioid Treatment Program, located in Building K on the grounds of Nassau University Medical Center, offers Vivitrol, Methadone and Suboxone treatment tracks – on an outpatient basis.

To be screened for possible admission into the County’s “Shot at Life” program, call the clinic’s intake number at 572-5801.
Statistics indicate that 195 people died in Nassau last year from opioid overdoses and as of July 15 of this year, 98 residents have died from an overdose of prescription and/or illegal drugs.

About 25 states currently use Vivitrol in their criminal justice systems, resulting in reduced recidivism and incarceration rates, and costly ER visits.


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Slight Decrease in Nassau Deaths from Heroin and other Opiates

By Eden Laikin

The number of fatal overdoses in Nassau County appears to be decreasing slightly since 2016, and more residents are being saved with the opioid overdose antidote, Narcan, this year – records show.

According to Nassau County Police 911 reports, approximately 113 residents died from drug overdoses between January and October of last year – while 311 people were saved from potentially fatal overdoses, by members of the police department.  This year, between January and October, 104 residents died from overdoses and 353 lives were saved with Narcan.

As of July 15 of this year, the Nassau Medical Examiner certified 98 opioid-related deaths in the County. Records show that nearly half of those overdose deaths – 48 – were caused by Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid prescribed for acute pain, along with several of its analogues. Heroin caused 23 of the deaths; Oxycodone – 18 and Methadone, 18.

Nassau saw a total of 195 Opioid overdose deaths in 2016, according to the medical examiner; while Suffolk County reported more than 330 drug deaths.

Nassau’s communities with the most overdose deaths are the Massapequas, with 10 so far in 2017; Long Beach with 8, followed by East Meadow, Hempstead (Village) and Levittown with 6 deaths each; and Farmingdale with 5 overdose deaths this year. Also, with 3 or more overdose deaths each, were Baldwin, Garden City, Manhasset and Bethpage.

Last year at this time, – through October 2016 – the Massapequas and Levittown both topped the list with 12 fatal overdoses each. Long Beach had 7 deaths through October of 2016; Valley Stream, Oceanside and East Meadow each had 6; Hempstead and Baldwin each had 4.

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Mangano Announces Free Support Services Event for Disadvantaged Veterans

Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency and the United Veterans Organization – in conjunction with assistance from volunteers representing all service organizations – today announced a free Veterans Assistance Day event will take place on Tuesday, November 21st from 10:00am-2:00pm at the Freeport Armory, 63 Babylon Turnpike, Freeport.

“My administration is committed to serving our veterans and ensuring resources are provided to them once they return home from service,” said County Executive Mangano.  “Nassau County Veterans events like this one have assisted veterans in securing benefits, job counseling, legal advice and dental care.  I want to thank Ralph Esposito and the entire Veterans Service Agency for all they do each and every day to enhance the quality of life for Nassau’s veterans.”

Veterans will receive assistance with securing entitled benefits, job counseling and legal advice.  Clothes and food donated from the community will be available to the veterans, as well as haircuts, medical screenings and enrollment in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system.

Representatives from Nassau County government agencies will be participating, including the departments of Social Services, Health, and Human Services, as well as The Salvation Army, the New York State Department of Labor, The Department of Veterans Affairs, New York State Division of Veterans Affairs and The Red Cross.

For more information, please contact the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency at 516-572-6565, or email





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Nassau Gives Dozens Suffering with Substance Use Disorder, a Shot at Life

By Eden Laikin

As Nassau County’s Shot at Life (Vivitrol) program to treat heroin and pain pill addiction completes its 2nd year, an in-house study of dozens of participants found that 68% stopped abusing opioids and stayed drug-free for at least 3 months. Just over 63% stayed clean and in treatment for at least 6 months and 41%, for at least 12 months.

Out of 63 individuals who came through the weekly Shot at Life (Vivitrol) support group meetings since Jan 2016, 13 have completed the treatment program and remain in remission from the disease of addiction. Another 21 are still getting monthly Vivitrol shots and staying drug-free.

Vivitrol – FDA approved in 2010 to prevent relapse to opioids – is administered as a monthly extended release injection, by a healthcare professional, for about 12-18 months. When paired with counseling, 12 step recovery or other forms of drug treatment, Vivitrol has had marked success in more than 2 dozen states.

In February of 2015, Nassau became the first County in the state to offer Vivitrol at its Opiate Treatment Center, located on the grounds of Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. The hospital soon followed by offering Vivitrol to opioid-addicted clients upon release from its inpatient rehabilitation program. At least 10 of the drug treatment providers that Nassau County contracts with, now offer Vivitrol.

Many Vivitrol recipients say the cravings for opioids go away soon after the non-narcotic, non-addictive shot is administered. And because Vivitrol, or slow release Naltrexone, is an opiate blocker – the person won’t get the high from opioids for 25-30 days, thus decreasing relapse.

The above referenced study group consists of 42 men and 21 women, whose progress county officials have been able to track for at least a year. While there have been twice as many men as women in the group, women on vivitrol were more than 50% more likely than men to complete the program and remain clean.

 Just 9 of the 63 studied took one Vivitrol shot and never came back. Of those, 8 were men. One male member of the group stopped after his 6th shot, due to extreme weight loss. Two others relapsed after stopping vivitrol, and died from overdose.

There were 16 members (11 men & 5 women) who relapsed after between 6 and 14 months; At least 2 have gone back on the shot.

More than half of the study group (52%, or 35 members) either successfully completed the Shot at Life program or are still on the vivitrol shot, and remain drug-free. Nearly half of those members – 16 – are involved in 12 Step Recovery. Only one of the 16 that relapsed, was in 12 Step recovery.

Twenty of those 35 members attended an outpatient counseling facility as part of the treatment; 10 went to outpatient and 12 Step and at least 6 received private therapy.

For more information on Nassau County’s Shot at Life program, visit or call Eden Laikin at 516-571-6105.

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Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that the Nassau County Department of Social Services and Nassau County Family Court, in partnership with the Long Island Children’s Museum, will participate in its sixteenth annual National Adoption Day Ceremony on Monday, November 20, 2017 at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City beginning at 10:00 a.m., where the adoptions of 26 children in foster care will be finalized.

“This is a wonderful and inspiring celebration,” said County Executive Mangano. “Nassau County is dedicated to building and strengthening our families. We are devoted to ensuring every child freed for adoption has a permanent, loving family. Our goal is a family for every child and we are fortunate to have a number of foster and adoptive families who want to provide children in foster care with permanence.”

November is recognized as National Adoption Month, the purpose of which is to focus attention on children in the child welfare system that are in foster care and “freed,” meaning they are waiting to be adopted. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held for families finalizing adoptions and families who have adopted during the year.

“Adoption Day is a joyous celebration when the Family Court of Nassau County bestows permanency for the children and families.  It is our pleasure to participate in this wonderful event,” added Supervising Judge Ellen R. Greenberg.

“The long-standing partnership between the Department of Social Services, Family Court and Long Island Children’s Museum (LICM) has provided important services to our community’s families,” said LICM President Suzanne LeBlanc.  “Helping families connect and flourish is a goal we all share.”  In addition to hosting Nassau County’s “Adoption Day” ceremony, LICM will provide each new family with a complimentary year-long family museum membership.

“This is our sixteenth successive year participating in National Adoption Day,” declared Social Services Commissioner Dr. John E. Imhof. “Since first celebrating this day in 2002, we finalized a total of 262 children during the last fifteen Adoption Day celebrations. We continue to seek nurturing and loving foster and adoptive parents for every Nassau County child needing a permanent home and family.”

For residents interested in fostering or adopting, call the Department of Social Services Recruitment Unit at (516) 227-7613 for further information.


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Mangano Offers Free Lifesaving Heroin Overdose Prevention Seminar in BETHPAGE

Mineola, NY –  Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and County Legislator Rose Walker will join with the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, and Family and Children’s Association, to invite residents to  a free Overdose Prevention Workshop on Monday, Nov. 20, from 7pm-9pm at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center, located at 510 Grumman Road W. in Bethpage. Attendees will be trained to administer Narcan, which can reverse the fatal effects of an overdose on heroin, or prescription meds such as oxycodone and vicodin. They’ll learn the warning signs of drug addiction, new and effective treatment options, personal stories of recovery, and more. A free nasal Narcan kit is provided to each trainee.

“It’s not just heroin that’s causing the overdose deaths on Long Island each day—it’s also misuse and abuse of prescription pain pills,” said County Executive Mangano. “Residents need to become educated about the disease of addiction, and can do so by attending our free workshop. I encourage everyone, 18 years of age and older, to take advantage of this opportunity that could save a loved one’s life and give them a chance at recovery.”

So far this year, at least 24 trainees used the Narcan they were given to save the life of someone overdosing on Heroin or prescription pain pills.  In all, Nassau officials have trained more than 9,200 civilians to administer the overdose antidote, since becoming state certified in Sept 2012. In addition to thousands of non-medically trained civilians, the County’s trainees include school nurses, athletic directors, pharmacists, auxiliary and probation officers, firefighters and 911 dispatch operators.

At least 195 Nassau residents died from opioid overdoses in 2016. Naloxone—the main ingredient in Narcan—has been used by paramedics and emergency room doctors for decades to save lives, but a 2006 State law allows citizens to administer Narcan in an attempt to save a life, without fear of liability.

All residents are welcome to attend, but seating is limited. To attend the two-hour seminar provided by the Nassau County Department of Human Services, please RSVP at For dates and locations of additional Overdose Prevention Seminars, visit






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Mangano: United Veterans Organization Hosts Veterans Day Service at Eisenhower Park

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano joined County Legislators Laura Schaefer and Rose Walker, members of the United Veterans Organization (UVO) and members of Long Island’s health care community, at the UVO’s annual Veteran’s Day service at Veteran’s Plaza in Field 6 of Eisenhower Park on Sunday, November 5th. The event included an opening address by County Executive Mangano and a performance by the St. Agnes Choir.

“On behalf of the residents of Nassau County, I thank all of the veterans who served our country in times of war and peace and our servicemen and women who are now defending freedom around the world,” said County Executive Mangano. “Today, at this beautiful memorial, we gather to recognize the sacrifices of those brave men and women, and vow to never forget all that they did to preserve the American Dream. Let us go forward with a personal pledge to honor our veterans each day and work together to improve their lives, as they did ours.”

Pictured above from left to right: Irene Auteri-Feguson RN, MA of Adelphi; Professor Marilyn Klainberg of Adelphi; Nassau County Legislator Laura Schaefer; Angelo Ciotta, Iwo Jima Survivor; Elaine Smith Dean of Adelphi; Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano; Claire Shulman, Former Queens Borough President and 1946 Adelphi Nursing Alumnus; Ann Callahan-Dick, Nursing Cadet, WWII; Dorothy Lonnergan, Nursing Cadet Alumnus; Eleanor Moffatt, Alumnus of St. John’s Hospital in Queens; Ralph Esposito, Director of Nassau County Veterans Services; Nassau County Legislator Rose Walker; and NY State Assemblyman Edward Ra. (In the rear are current nursing students at Adelphi University).



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