Sheriff’s deputies in ten New York counties will now be permitted to leave behind overdose prevention kits for at-risk populations in an effort to prevent deaths.
The kits contain Naloxone, also known as Narcan, which can be used to reverse opioid overdoses. Each department will receive 20 kits to begin with, but Albany Medical Center Chief of Prehospital and Operational Medicine Dr. Michael Dailey anticipates that number will be increased:”I believe law enforcement officers have different opportunities than EMS because law enforcement can be called to a scene of a domestic dispute or, frankly, any other complaint and recognise the signs of people who are using opioids or are concerned about someone with opioid use disorder,” Dailey said.
The move is part of the “Leave Behind” program’s expansion. Previously, only EMTs and their community partners could distribute the drug to patients, friends, or family members before leaving the scene of a non-fatal overdose.According to New York’s annual opioid report, approximately 12,000 Narcan administrations were reported by Emergency Medical Services agencies in 2019, approximately a fifth more than in 2018.
Sheriffs from the counties of Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington are taking part.Sheriff David Bartlett of Columbia County says he would like to see the programme expanded statewide.
“We’ll be able to leave it at people’s homes now when we go to an overdose. I can tell you that down in Columbia County, we’ll be leaving resource information for family members and loved ones – and this is a win-win situation for everyone “said Bartlett.
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