Opioid Overdose Prevention   

What is an Opioid?

Opioids are substances derived from the opium poppy that are primarily used to treat pain. They work by altering an individual’s perception and tolerance to pain; however, they can become addictive. Many individuals who experience chronic pain take legally prescribed opioid medications to manage their pain. There are also illegal forms of opioids that are used by some individuals for recreational use. Examples of opioids include:

  • Oxycontin
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Demeral
  • Heroin
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl

*One major detrimental effect of excessive ingestion of opioids is respiratory depression. The medications, in large quantities, interfere with a person’s breathing, resulting in death or brain damage from lack of oxygen.

The Epidemic of Overdose

Throughout the United States, the use of opioid medications has increased dramatically since 1999 in an effort to better manage chronic pain. The unintended effect of this has been an increase in the number of opiates that are available for use both legally and illegally. Addiction rates have risen significantly and with that, the rate of mortality from drug overdose related to these medications. In the United States, approximately 145 people per day die from opioid overdose.

Reducing the Mortality Rate: Registered Naloxone Training Program

To combat the problem, Sullivan County Public Health Services became a Registered Opioid Overdose Prevention Program in 2014. The program allows for accurate data gathering related to the overdose epidemic in Sullivan County, NY, training programs specific to the area of expertise of the responder, and distribution and monitoring of naloxone, a medication that serves as an antidote to opioids. The naloxone works by pushing the opiate off of the receptor site in the brain.

Training Programs Available:

Classes can be scheduled by contacting Kate Freda at catherine.freda@co.sullivan.ny.us . Following the initial certification, recertification courses are required to be completed by responders every two years in order to maintain their status as Overdose Responders. All courses follow the NY State Department of Health regulations regarding opioid training requirements.

Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement courses are approved through the Department of Criminal Justice Services and provide the officer with a certificate of completion from them. The course is completed in two hours and includes theory on overdose response and hands-on practice using intranasal naloxone kits.

EMS/Firefighters

BLS and Fire Departments interested in conducting a course can contact us to schedule a date and time that is convenient. We offer the option of evening sessions for your convenience.

School Nurses and School Personnel

NYSDOH has approved training for School Nurses and School Personnel. Please contact our office for more information or to plan a course for your district personnel.

RNs living in Sullivan County

NYSED has updated the Nurse Practice Act allowing RNs to carry and administer naloxone in an emergency. Contact us to register.

No Needles Approach

This training provides the responder with valuable information regarding the risk factors for overdose, recognition of an overdose, how to respond to an overdose situation, and hands-on training with the naloxone device. Naloxone can be administered in a number of different forms. For this program, intranasal naloxone was selected due to the reduced risk of exposure to needlesticks that could potentially occur using the other administration methods. Research indicates that intranasal naloxone is absorbed very quickly and is as effective as other methods of administration in reversing an opioid overdose.

    

Drug Poisoning Deaths

Sullivan County, 2013 – 2017

Year

All Deaths

All Drug Poisoning Deaths

Drug Poisoning Deaths Involving Opioids

2013

696

18

17

2014

713

19

16

2015

659

10

18

2016

pending

18

16

2017 * to Oct

pending

23+ *pending

*pending

*Deaths due to opioids (ICD-10 codes T40.1, T40.2, T40.3, T40.6 in the multiple cause of death) are a subset of all drug poisoning deaths (ICD-10 codes X40-X44, X60-X64, X85, or Y10-Y14 as the underlying cause of death).     Source: NYSDOH & Sullivan County Coroner.

    

Additional Initiatives

  • Sullivan County Rural Health Network Drug Prevention Task Force – meets monthly
  • We sponsor local bupenorphine trainings for health care providers (See flyer Dec. 2 at CRMC)

    

Sullivan County Information Line For Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services.

You are not alone.

We are here to help with information and referrals to resources in the community. If you or someone you know think that drug or alcohol use is a problem, or have mental health concerns, please call 1-866-832-5575

How we can help

  • Information and referrals for treatment and recovery services for addiction.
  • Information and referrals for mental health services.
  • Family support and information.
  • Provide community connections to organizations who can assist you and your family.

All services are confidential and are provided free of charge.

If you or a family member needs immediate assistance for a medical emergency call 911

For immediate assistance with a mental health emergency, call: Sullivan County Mobile Mental Health Team (for adults over 18): 1-800-710-7083 or 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369)

For an online directory of services, please visit: https://www.oasas.ny.gov/accesshelp/

There is Always Hope.