NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Heroin has become the killer drug for kids in the suburbs.
On Monday, a Long Island community honored first responders for the lives that they helped save by using a drug that brings overdosing addicts back to life.
As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, there was applause at the Nassau County Legislature, and citations for first responders who truly can say that Narcan, a new tool in their arsenal, has helped to save the lives of heroin overdose victims.
“When I arrived the way I knew where the house was I heard the mother of the girls screaming, and I hard that from the street saying, ‘don’t die, please don’t die,'” P.O. Patrick O’Connor, Nassau County Police Department said.
The young woman didn’t die because O’Connor quickly administered Narcan, which all officers started carrying in their vehicles this summer.
Officer Gregory Caserta used Narcan to revive an East Rockaway man whose life was quickly slipping away.
“It’s really incredible to see someone whose life is in front of you and then in an instant they’re back functioning again. It’s really an amazing thing,” he said.
Using a dummy, officers demonstrated for legislators, how easily the drug is sprayed into the nostrils.
Use of the life-saving drug comes on the heels of a an alarming rise in heroin overdose deaths which has more than doubled in just three years on Long Island, from 61 to more than 144 in the past year.
“No matter what family you come from, rich or poor, heroin is a real problem here on Long Island,” Nassau County PBA President James Carver said.
Officer Kevin Avis said that he is relieved to have Narcan. He used it just weeks ago on an overdosing woman whose friends had placed her in a bathtub.
“Her housemates trued reviving her with cold water. We initiated the Narcan procedure, and within a minute or two she came back to life,” Avis said.
Officers took the awards in stride.
“I think it’s great we’re being honored for it, but you know it’s our job,” P.O. Janice Whitney, Nassau County Police Department said.
A job description that includes saving lives.
Nassau County said that it plans to continue to expand the use of Narcan to all of its first responders.
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