On August 31st, as part of International Opioid Overdose Awareness Day, our Recovery Community and Outreach Center (RCOC) held free overdose reversal training for community members in the Bronx. The RCOC staff instructed more than two dozen people in how to recognize an opioid overdose and administer naloxone to reverse it.
There is a pressing need for overdose reversal education in the Bronx, which had the second highest rate – and the largest overall number (308) – of overdose deaths in New York City in 2016. Given this need and the success of Overdose Day, the RCOC has been offering training on a drop-in basis ever since. To date, nearly 100 Bronxites have learned how to save a life by reversing an overdose.
The training is a key part of the Recovery Center’s mission of focusing on prevention and increasing awareness about substance abuse. Paul Smith, Coordinator of Recovery Services, said, “We want to take these lifesaving tools directly to the public. Opioid addiction affects everyone, and the more education and destigmatization that occurs, the more we as a community can address the crisis.”