As Part of HealingNYC, Health Department's Tremont Neighborhood Health Action Center Begins Offering Naloxone Trainings

Action Center is now registered in the New York State Opioid Overdose Prevention Program; trainings teach how to recognize an overdose and save a life with naloxone

Three of the five neighborhoods with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the city are in the Bronx

February 21, 2018 — As part of HealingNYC, the Health Department and its Center for Health Equity today announced that the Tremont Neighborhood Health Action Center will offer free naloxone trainings and distribution to prevent fatal opioid overdoses. The Action Center was recently registered in the New York State Health Department’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. New York City is one of the first jurisdictions in the country to widely distribute naloxone — a safe and effective medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Three of the five neighborhoods with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the city are in the Bronx. Trainings will educate community members on how to recognize an overdose and administer naloxone. Everyone who takes the training is offered a free naloxone kit, which has two doses of naloxone. Trainings will be available monthly and on a drop-in basis; residents can sign up online. Last March, Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray announced HealingNYC, the City’s comprehensive initiative to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 35 percent over five years. Through HealingNYC, the Administration is investing $38 million annually at full ramp-up to increase overdose prevention education and naloxone distribution, expand access to medications for addiction treatment with buprenorphine or methadone, and promote judicious opioid prescribing.

“Anyone can learn how to save a life with naloxone, which is why I encourage every Bronx resident to take a free naloxone training at our Tremont Health Action Center,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “As a designated Opioid Overdose Prevention Program, the Action Center can train hundreds of New Yorkers to recognize an overdose and act quickly to assist someone in need.”

“Drug addiction and overdose are treatable, but we have to do more to address the opioid crisis that is eating away at our communities. Teaching the people of the Bronx about Naloxone, and how to use it, is an important step that will help save countless lives. I thank and commend the NYC Health Department Bronx Action Center on their great work to help our community face drug addiction, and to educate families and others about resources available to them. As a Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for a number of opioid response programs, I will continue fighting to ensure these organizations have the funding they need to successfully serve our communities,” said Congressman José E. Serrano.

“Substance abuse and addiction destroys families and thereby wreaks havoc on communities across The Bronx and our beloved New York City,” said Assembly Member Michael Blake. “It is therefore imperative that we allocate resources to assist those who are suffering and need support the most. I commend HealingNYC on this initiative and believe that Tremont Neighborhood Health Center is an excellent community partner to launch this important program. This partnership is a positive step towards healing individuals and families who struggle every day with drug addiction. Let us continue to work together to support each other and rebuild our community by #BuildingABetterBronx.”

“Being able to administer naloxone in an emergency situation can help save lives, and that’s why receiving training is crucial. Community members should take advantage of free trainings at the Bronx Action Center, in the event that they encounter someone experiencing an overdose. Naloxone has proven effective in reversing an overdose, and the more people who know how to administer it, the more lives will be saved,” said Councilman Ritchie Torres.

“The opiate epidemic has hit the Bronx especially hard, and unfortunately overdose numbers continue to rise,” said Councilmember Rafael Salamanca. “We need more investments and more naloxone trainings to start reversing these tragic trends. Free naloxone trainings right here in the community are a great step to combating opiates and heroin in our community once and for all.”

New York City has seen an epidemic of overdose deaths from opioids. In New York City, someone dies of a drug overdose every seven hours. In 2016, there were 1,374 confirmed overdose deaths; opioids were found in 82 percent of those deaths. From January to September 2017, there were 1,068 confirmed drug overdose deaths (PDF) in New York City. The number of drug overdoses remains at epidemic levels as illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a potent opioid, continues to be present in the drug supply. Fentanyl has been found in heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and ketamine, as well as in benzodiazepines and opioid painkillers acquired from non-pharmaceutical sources.

New Yorkers can purchase naloxone without a patient-specific prescription at over 700 pharmacies throughout the city, including all major chain pharmacies (Walgreens, Duane Reade, Rite Aid and CVS). At least one form of naloxone is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicaid. Additionally, New York State will cover co-payments of up to $40. Naloxone is also available for free-of-charge from registered Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs. The Health Department also offers regular naloxone trainings at its main office in Queens, which teach New Yorkers to recognize the signs of an overdose and respond by calling 911 and administering naloxone. The trainings are free, and all participants are offered a free naloxone kit. In May, the Health Department released Stop OD NYC, a free mobile app that shows how to recognize and prevent opioid overdoses, helps users find naloxone at programs or pharmacies nearby, and allows reporting of naloxone administration.

Opioid overdose deaths are preventable. Treatment with methadone or buprenorphine is highly effective and can reduce the risk of overdose. 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 witness an overdose, call 911 immediately.

The Health Department’s Center for Health Equity
Created in 2014, the Center for Health Equity is working toward a fair and healthy New York so all residents — regardless of their zip code — have the opportunity to lead their healthiest lives. The Center for Health Equity’s Neighborhood Health Action Centers are tackling the root causes of health inequities — including racism — for residents in neighborhoods impacted by systematic disinvestment. The Action Centers offer coordinated health and social services, as well as community programs under one roof. They also provide hubs for people to become involved in efforts to improve the health of their neighborhoods.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Miller/Stephanie Buhle: (347) 396-4177, PressOffice@health.nyc.gov