Feds move to curb overdose deaths

Oct 9, 2015

The federal government wants to curb the number of deaths from opioid drug overdoses. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hopes to make in-roads by funding intervention and prevention.

HHS Secretary Silvia Burwell recently announced initiatives that target heroin and opioid deaths and dependence across the country. $133 million has been allocated to programs for treatment and education.

Chris Jones, director of science policy at HHS, says much of the education about opioids needs to be directed at medical professionals.

NY schools training nurses in heroin overdose antidote

Sep 8, 2015

School starts for most districts this week and next, and it’s the first time when New York schools can supply their nurses with a drug to reverse the effects of a drug overdose. Many districts are still weighing the pros and cons of the decision, but nurses in the western New York village of Dansville had a Naloxone training session Wednesday.

PunchingJudy / Flickr

In the last six months, New York state has trained 10,000 laypeople to use Narcan, a drug that can save a person from death after an overdose of opioids like heroin or prescription pain killers. Local emergency medical technicians say they are behind the move, if people are properly trained.

Narcan use evolves as heroin, opioid overdoses increase

May 29, 2014
Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The recent spike in opioid abuse cases in central New York and across the country has people discussing how to get their hands on Narcan, also known as naloxone, a drug that can be quickly administered in an emergency to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

Dr. Jerry Emmons is the medical director for the emergency department at Oswego Hospital. He says Narcan used to be a drug seen only in hospitals, but has made its way into the hands of first responders.

Wallyg / via Flickr

A Republican-led Senate task force has released a package of bills aimed at combating the growing heroin addiction in New York.

The bills would require schools to carry supplies of Naloxone, the drug used to treat heroin overdoses and in many cases, prevent death. They would also require better management of patients treated for drug addiction, and  convert some recently closed state prisons to treatment centers.

Cassandra Genua

SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley, in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, praised the response of the Oswego police and fire departments to heroin overdoses over the weekend that left one student dead and hospitalized two students. 

Stanley also said, “it is time for a new approach to the Bridge Street Run,” the traditional pub crawl in Oswego to celebrate the end of the SUNY Oswego school year, which was going on when the overdoses occurred.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Story updated on Monday, May 12 at 8:00 a.m.

On the SUNY Oswego campus, students say they are still coming to terms with the weekend's heroin overdoses, in which one student died and two others were hospitalized.

Many students say they are uncomfortable talking about the subject. One student, Jessie Brandt, said she was scared when she first saw the emergency alerts on her phone.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Along with a spike in heroin and other opiate use in central and northern New York has come a jump in the number of  drug overdose deaths. One Syracuse health organization hopes to bring that number down by teaching people how to administer a drug that can stop the effects of an overdose.