NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York City’s anti-opiate overdose pilot program is expanding on Staten Island in response to the borough’s heroin and pain pill addiction problem.
Police officers assigned to the 120 Precinct have already saved the lives of three overdose victims by using naloxone this year, officials announced Thursday.
“Staten Island has the highest rate of fatal overdoses,” Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan said. “The New York City Police Department naloxone program will be expanded into the borough’s three other precincts.”
As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, Daniel Keating was one of the police officers who used naloxone on an overdosing patient.
“The call came over as an unconscious, possible overdose,” he said.
Keating said when he arrived at the scene he knew right away it was a matter of life or death.
“The victim was snoring very loudly, it’s what’s called a death rattle,” he said.
The department is using federal funding to expand to program to all borough precincts. Naloxone is administered by a nasal spray.
“This is a simple solution for a very complicated problem,” said Donovan.
Every cop in the borough will be trained by the end of May, officials said.
Additionally, FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano said every EMT and firefighter with an engine company citywide will be trained by July.
“That’s what we do, we want to save lives. It will reverse the effects of an opiate overdose,” he said.
Paramedics already carry the drug and administered it more than 2,800 times citywide last year. An FDNY division on Staten Island has used it more than 80 times this year.
Preliminary data shows there were 37 drug-related overdose deaths on Staten Island in 2013.
State officials say all officers should carry kits with two syringes and inhalers.
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