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Nassau certified in drug overdose prevention

Oxycodone tablets being dispensed in a Melville pharmacy.

Oxycodone tablets being dispensed in a Melville pharmacy. The prescription drug is commonly abused. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has announced that Nassau is the first county in the state certified by the state Department of Health to administer a drug overdose prevention program.

The state certification lets the county train employees and family members of at-risk individuals to administer an overdose reversal agent, known as Narcan or naloxone, to those who have ingested large amounts of opioids and are in life-threatening situations.

Opioids include prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and street versions of drugs like heroin.

“Nassau is a leader in fighting the prescription drug abuse epidemic,” Mangano said. “My administration has made it a priority to enhance education, awareness and enforcement efforts. This new Drug Overdose Prevention Program will help combat the growing number of overdose deaths by putting in place the resources necessary to save lives and get abusers on the road to recovery.”

Narcan is a prescription medicine that reverses an overdose by blocking heroin (or other opioids) in the brain for 30 to 90 minutes. As part of the state certification, Nassau will be provided with the overdose reversal agent at no cost.

Beginning this week, substance abuse organizations, as well as governmental officials and at-risk family members, will be eligible for training in giving the reversal agent.

Photo: Oxycodone tablets being dispensed in a pharmacy. The prescription drug is commonly abused.



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