By Danny Schrafel
Northport’s Drug and Alcohol Force is teaming up with Suffolk County to teach members of the public how to administer doses of an overdose-reversing opiate antidote during a training session next week.
The Narcan training session, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11 at the Northport Public Library, will give participants an opportunity to become trained and certified in the intranasal application of the antidote, which Northport Village first responders have used several times in the past year to reverse heroin overdoses and save lives.
It’s the second time that the task force has presented a Narcan training session, said Northport-East Northport School District drug counselor Anthony Ferrandino, a co-chair of the task force. Organizers hope participants will gain first-hand knowledge of how an opiate overdose works and how administering Narcan can save lives.
“We see the need still in the community. We’re still hearing a lot about opioid and heroin overdoses,” he said. “We still see there’s a need to have community members aware and armed with stuff that’s going to help.”
Legislator William Spencer (D-Centerport), a doctor who represents Northport in the Suffolk County Legislature, agrees. His office is cosponsoring the session, and he said Narcan has played a major role in reducing the number of heroin overdose deaths from a one-a-day clip some time back.
“It’s something that is safe and practical and something that everyone should have access to,” he said.
A Narcan save, he said, is an opportunity to help a person struggling with drugs get on the road to recovery.
“Occasionally, we don’t discover… the depth of their problem until after an overdose,” he said.
More must be done, he stressed, to ensure patients “don’t become repeat statistics” and that addicts get the treatment that they need.
Participants in the training session, which is expected to conclude by 8:30 p.m., will receive one dose of intranasal Narcan for use in an emergency.
Anyone interested can email Ferrandino at firstname.lastname@example.org.