City Hall in Your Borough: De Blasio Administration Releases Opioid Overdose Prevention App

May 24, 2017

Stop OD NYC app provides information that can help New Yorkers learn to prevent, recognize and reverse an opioid overdose

BRONX, NY–Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett today released Stop OD NYC, an opioid overdose prevention mobile app. The app provides basic overdose prevention education and links individuals to nearby community-based programs and pharmacies where naloxone is available without a prescription. New Yorkers can also report their use of naloxone in response to an overdose, which helps the City monitor and better understand the opioid epidemic. The app can be downloaded for Android or iOS here.

This effort is part of HealingNYC, the City’s comprehensive initiative to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 35 percent over five years. The City is investing $38 million annually at full ramp-up to increase naloxone distribution and community-based trainings, expand access to medication assisted treatment, promote judicious opioid prescribing and disrupt the supply of opioids flowing into the city.

“New York City is facing an opioid drug crisis driven by a toxic mix of cheap heroin and fentanyl, and we are using every tool we can to save lives" said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This app will ensure that New Yorkers have access to our growing number of naloxone kits across the city, which will help reverse overdoses and put those struggling with addiction on the road to recovery.”

First Lady of NYC Chirlane McCray, who leads the city's mental health and substance use disorder efforts said, “Saving a life with naloxone is easy, and we want to make sure every New Yorker knows how to do it. By putting this medication into the hands of more people in our communities, Stop OD NYC will literally save lives.” 

“New York City has a long history of leading the nation in responding to substance misuse and overdose,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “Raising awareness about naloxone, where to get it, and how to use it will ensure that even more New Yorkers have the tools they need to prevent overdoses and save lives.”

“When a friend or family member overdoses from an opioid, having naloxone on hand may make the difference between saving a life and losing one,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Every New Yorker should learn what naloxone is, how to use it and where to find it in their neighborhood.”

Last year, New Yorkers used naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, to save approximately 400 lives. The Stop OD NYC app informs New Yorkers on the nature of opioids, overdoses and naloxone. It also helps pharmacies and community-based organizations that distribute naloxone because it provides information required by law on when and how to administer the drug.

In 2016, more than 1,300 New Yorkers died of a drug overdose, and about 80 percent of those deaths were due to opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. More New Yorkers die from drug overdose than homicides and motor vehicle crashes combined.

New Yorkers can purchase naloxone without a prescription at over 740 pharmacies throughout the city including all major chain pharmacies (Walgreens, Duane Reade, Rite Aid and CVS). At least one form is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicaid. It is also available for free from registered opioid overdose programs. Individuals seeking support or treatment for substance use issues for themselves or their loved ones can contact NYC Well by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL, texting “WELL” to 65173 or going to nyc.gov/nycwell. Free, confidential support is available at any hour of the day in over 200 languages. If you are experiencing or witnessing an overdose, please call 911 immediately.

"This new app will put life-saving information right at the fingertips of New Yorkers, and I congratulate Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Bassett and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for developing an innovative tool in the ongoing fight against opioid addiction and abuse," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

"New York City is in the midst of a heroin epidemic and we must use every tool available to mitigate the damage," said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the New York City Committee in Technology. "By utilizing commonplace technologies to make life-saving treatment as accessible as possible, we will reduce the number of preventable deaths in our City. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bassett for their commitment to public health."

“Arming New Yorkers with information on Opioid overdose at the tip of their fingers will save lives,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen. “Resources on where to find Naloxone and how to administer it is an important step in preventing Opioid overdose. I hope every New Yorker takes advantage of this app.”

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