New statewide program arms first responders with heroin overdose reversal drug Narcan
YONKERS - Police, firefighters and EMTs with proper training will now be able to travel with kits containing Narcan, a drug that can help reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.
The statewide program is being funded through $5 million that was seized in federal and state investigations.
All first responders in New York state who get trained will receive kits filled with the drug for heroin as well as other drug overdoses.
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Heroin deaths across the nation are rising, including in the Hudson Valley. Empress Ambulance covers the area from Yonkers to Yorktown, and says it responded to 280 heroin-related calls last year compared to 200 in 2012.
Lt. Toni-Ann Scherer says it takes a few minutes for Narcan to take effect, and the victim still needs to be taken to the hospital immediately. Narcan can be administered in several ways, including as a nasal spray.