Opiate use on Long Island has increased in recent years. As a result, fatal overdoses from misuse of opiates have also increased. According to the Suffolk County Supreme Court Grand Jury Report from April 17, 2012, in the year 2011 there were 231 fatal overdoses from controlled substances in Suffolk County, and 174 of them were from opioid analgesics.

New York State developed a program in 2006 whereby individuals can be trained to carry emergency kits containing naloxone (also known as Narcan). The purpose of the kits is to reverse opioid overdoses while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive to transport someone to a hospital. It is the hope that intervening earlier in an opioid overdose will prevent deaths from these overdoses.

In the spring of 2012, Suffolk County legislators put into action a pilot program to train the Suffolk County Police Department to become trained overdose responders.

This year, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department requested similar training.

Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson, has an Opioid Overdose Prevention Program called the Hope House Overdose Prevention Endeavor. Jennifer Serrentino, MD, the clinical director of this overdose program, is working with other members of the program to train the Sheriff’s department to become certified opioid overdose responders. The first training was performed on March 5, 2013 and there are future trainings scheduled for the department in the upcoming months.

The Hope House Overdose Prevention Endeavor is available to train anyone to become overdose responders. If you or anyone you know might be interested in such a training please call Jennifer Serrentino, MD at (631) 704-5348 for more information.