Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito today reached a landmark achievement in leading the town’s fight against opioid addiction. At today’s Narcan Training Seminar at Island Park Library, they distributed the 10,000th Narcan kit to the public, fulfilling a promise made in June to reach the milestone by the end of the calendar year.
This past June, Clavin and D’Esposito announced their goal in response to a spike of opioid overdoses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In November, the CDC announced that there was a 29% increase in overdose deaths from April 2020 to April 2021 and for the first time ever, 100,000 Americans died from overdoses. With those tragic numbers rising, Clavin, D’Esposito and other Hempstead Town leaders knew that serious action was needed in the fight against opioid addiction.
“When you see overdose numbers and deaths like this at such an alarming rate, it breaks your heart,” Clavin said. “We want better for all of our people, especially our young people, and with the Town Board, we have the power to change that, so we did. I’m grateful to work closely with Councilman D’Esposito in helping to combat this issue, and we’re hopeful that by giving out these kits, it’s a step in the right direction towards beating this deadly epidemic.”
D’Esposito, a former Island Park Fire Department chief and NYPD detective, has seen firsthand the deadly effects of addiction and overdoses, and is proud to be a significant part of making a change in the community.
“Drug abuse, addiction and overdoses don’t just impact the life of one person,” D’Esposito said. “It wreaks havoc on the lives of their families, their friends and their loved ones. It’s a never-ending pain. I’ve seen it – I’ve seen these people have their lives irreparably damaged through opioids and drug abuse. I’m hopeful that by educating and equipping people with these Narcan kits, we can be a part of those numbers going down by this time next year and for years to come.”
Narcan, or naloxone, is a drug that can treat the effects of an overdose in an emergency or potentially fatal situation. Councilman Anthony D’Esposito has been presenting one-hour training programs on Narcan, with all attendees receiving a free Narcan training kit at its conclusion. Previous CDC reports have indicated that Narcan kits save 27,000 lives per year. The CDC also reports that 40% of overdoses happen when someone else is present, so knowing how to properly administer the drug can save lives.
In Nassau County, there was a 15% drop in fatal overdoses from 2017-2019, with only 44 on record. However, there was a 34% spike in fatal overdoses in 2020, with 287 deaths in the county. Clavin and D’Esposito are leading a charge to rejuvenate the war against opioids.
“Nassau County and Hempstead Town residents were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and then we were hit again by the drug epidemic,” Clavin said. “We will do everything in our power to ensure our residents are as safe and as educated as possible, especially when it comes to issues as serious as addiction and overdosing. These training programs and kits are an essential part in battling the scourge of the opioid epidemic.”
Visit hempsteadny.gov or follow the Town of Hempstead on Facebook for updates on upcoming Narcan training events.