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Police: Woman rescued from heroin overdose

Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Ph.D., is shown with a

Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Ph.D., is shown with a drug antidote kit at Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Mineola. (Aug. 1, 2012) Credit: Chris Ware

A 21-year-old woman who overdosed on heroin in the parking lot of a Ronkonkoma ice cream store was saved by officers using an intranasal rescue drug, police said Tuesday.

The incident occurred at 1:20 p.m. Sunday in the lot of the Carvel on Ronkonkoma Avenue, Suffolk County police said. The identity of the woman was not released.

Police said the woman was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment and evaluation.

The two officers involved, Thomas Speciale and David Ferrara, are assigned to the Fourth Precinct. Police said they responded to a 911 call reporting that the woman had overdosed on heroin in a car parked in the store's lot.

The officers found the woman "unresponsive and barely breathing," police said. Speciale administered Narcan, while Ferrara performed what police called "additional medical care."

Suffolk police recently began participating in a New York State Department of Health pilot program involving the use of the anti-overdose drug, which has been proven effective in combating opioids, including heroin and oxycodone.

The drug has no major side effects and is inert when narcotics aren't present in the body, said Dr. Scott Coyne, chief surgeon and medical director for Suffolk police.

Suffolk police said their first rescue using the drug occurred Aug. 1 when Seventh Precinct Officer Michael Alfieri used his Narcan atomizer on a 27-year-old man who had overdosed on heroin.

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