NEW CITY N.Y.- Naloxone, a lifesaving drug capable of reversing the effects of a heroin overdose almost immediately, will now be made available over-the-counter in all chain pharmacies throughout New York State after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill first brought to the floor by State Sen. David Carlucci.
The news was announced by Carlucci on Friday, June 24 at a press conference outside of the New City Walgreens. The bill's passage makes New York the first state to require by law the sale of Naloxone over-the-counter.
Carlucci was joined by numerous Rockland groups such as the Friends of Recovery Rockland, the Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence, Inc, and the Harm Reduction Coalition.
“The bottom line is that Naloxone will save lives,” Carlucci said.
The bill was passed in the wake of a national heroin epidemic that has hit New York remarkably hard.
A study conducted by the Federal Senate Heroin Task Force found that a total of 2,300 lives were lost due to heroin overdoses in New York state in 2014, a figure which accounted for eight percent of total heroin overdose deaths nationally that year.
During the press conference Caren Schwartz, of the Friends of Recovery Rockland, gave an emotional testimony on why she fights for awareness and reform in dealing with heroin addiction.
“I am mother who lost her son one year ago to the disease of addiction. He was fortunate to be saved by Naloxone three times, however, ultimately he lost his battle,” explained Schwartz.
As part of Carlucci’s efforts, he will be holding two training sessions on how to administer Naloxone, both of which will be open to the public.
The training sessions will be available on Wednesday, July 6 at the Ossining Public Library from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Monday, July 11 at the New City Public Library from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to RSVP by contacting Carlucci's office at (845) 623-3627.
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