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Nassau forum to raise drug overdose awareness

A file photo of Nassau County Executive Edward

A file photo of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in Mineola. (March 19, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, April 18, for parents and others interested in how to recognize, and possibly prevent, an overdose of heroin or prescription opiates.

“The surest way to avoid an overdose is to not use drugs,” County Executive Edward Mangano said. “But for those who are using, this information can potentially save their lives long enough to get well. Treatment is key. This overdose prevention training is a lifesaving contingency plan.”

The session will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Morelley Homeland Security Center at 510 Grumman Rd. West in Bethpage.

At least 149 people in Nassau died from prescription drugs and heroin in 2011, a 66 percent increase over 2010, county officials said. “That’s nearly three residents a week,” Mangano said.

He noted that such drug overdoses are rarely immediate but can happen over a 1- to 3-hour span and that during that time, a life can be saved.

Speakers will include Dr. Thomas Jan, a physician specializing in pain-management and addiction medicine and trained in overdose prevention.

Attendees 18 years or older will receive a free lifesaving kit and instructions on how to reverse the deadly effects of an overdose from heroin or prescription painkillers, according to a flier from Mangano’s office.

Seating is limited, the flier noted; RSVP by April 16 to elaikin@nassaucountyny.gov or by calling 516-571-6105.

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