Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital vice presidents Linda Sweeney,...

Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital vice presidents Linda Sweeney, left, and Janet Jackowski display a kit at a Narcan rescue station at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. on Tuesday. Credit: Randee Daddona

Narcan kits are available in at least 15 Greenport businesses as part of an initiative that program officials said is aimed at preventing a repeat of the series of North Fork drug overdose deaths that happened two summers ago.

Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital and Hauppauge nonprofit Community Action for Social Justice have partnered with Greenport Village Business Improvement District and Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. in a program that provides free Narcan rescue stations and related training to Southold Town merchants.

Narcan is a brand name for naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose that is administered by methods including intranasal spray, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Program organizers said the businesses, which include restaurants, signed up for the rescue station program in the last several months.

Narcan kits in stores

  • Six deadly overdoses in 2021 in the Southold Town area led to an effort to provide Narcan locally
  • At least 15 Greenport businesses have Narcan rescue stations now

The project grew out of the Narcan-related training the hospital began offering throughout Southold after six people died from overdosing on fentanyl-laced cocaine in Greenport and Peconic in the summer of 2021, according to Linda Sweeney, the hospital's vice president of foundation and external affairs.

Organizers said the hospital is leading an outreach effort for the program and scheduling the training that the nonprofit — which is setting up the Narcan stations — is overseeing at participating businesses.

Each Narcan rescue station has kits that contain two doses of the medication and instructions on how to use it. The stations also are stocked with fentanyl test strips that can be used to check illicit drugs for the substance, program officials said.

They're aiming eventually to expand the joint initiative to areas including Riverhead and South Fork communities. 

Janet Jackowski, the hospital's vice president of behavioral health and social services, said the initiative will save lives while honoring the people who overdosed in 2021.

“This is a legacy and this is a tribute to trying to save lives in their memory,” she added.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said Monday that the town still is identifying other locations where officials can place the Narcan rescue stations, such as local beaches and town facilities.

Tina Wolf, Community Action for Social Justice's executive director, said the nonprofit previously distributed Narcan kits to local businesses but had limited success because the stigma associated with drug abuse made some people reluctant to get involved.

However, the new availability of Narcan training under the joint program has resulted in stronger support from the business community, according to Wolf.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. owner Rich Vandenburgh, who has a rescue station in his business, said he hopes more opioid-related deaths can be prevented because of the program.

“In the event something horrible was to happen, you have this tool to offer someone a second chance at life,” he added.

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