Long Island councilman combats opioid epidemic putting Narcan in the hands of the community

MERRICK, New York (WABC) -- Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony D'Esposito has been teaching the Long Island community how to administer Narcan since 2016 and it isn't planning on stopping anytime soon with the growing opioid crisis.

"I got out to different communities conduct these training and I've been able to distribute about 4,000 of these Narcan kits which is pretty awesome," D'Esposito said. "The United States Surgeon General about a year ago put out a public health warning saying that everyone in the United States 18 years and older should not only be trained in Narcan but carry Narcan. If that doesn't tell you what an epidemic we're facing I'm not sure what does."

Narcan kits can quickly reverse the effects of a narcotic overdose and will combat opioid deaths. The training includes identifying an overdose victim, administering the Narcan kit, and contacting emergency officials.

By supplying communities with this information and Narcan kits, the town is taking crucial steps toward combating fatal overdoses.

"I've seen Narcan bring people back to life, so the hope is once we give this training and Narcan is used to save someone they use that as a turning point to in their life to seek treatment," Town of Hempstead Councilman Chris Carini said. "It doesn't discriminate based on age, gender, or background. It is a suburban epidemic."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

D'Esposito hopes that these local forums will end the stigma and provide a safe space where communities can learn how to potentially save someone's life.

"This isn't a Republican issue this isn't a Democrat issue this is an American issue," D'Esposito said. "I've been embraced by both sides and we come together to host forums like this. "Some are very well attended with a couple of 100 people in the audience and some are not with less than 10 people. The goal is regardless of who's there is to put this stuff into the hands of as many people as we can."

----------

Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone
Submit a tip to Alex
Follow Alex on Facebook
Follow @Alexabc7NY on Twitter
Follow @Alexabc7NY on Instagram
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.