SARATOGA COUNTY—The Saratoga County Department of Health in partnership with Saratoga Performing Arts Center recently launched a program to address the opioid overdose crisis by providing public access to Naloxone, a life-saving medication that can reverse an opioid overdose.
SPAC has installed four NaloxBoxes within its premises. These NaloxBoxes are placed in the venue’s restrooms located in The Pines building and The Pinecones building. With these NaloxBoxes in place, this initiative will play a crucial role in increasing public access to Naloxone and providing SPAC’s patrons the tools necessary to assist during potential medical emergencies arising from opioid overdoses.
Inspired by the life-saving concept of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), the NaloxBox serves as a public emergency intervention tool that houses multiple prepackaged doses of nasal naloxone spray. Like an AED, bystanders can freely access the box and its contents to help save the life of someone experiencing an opioid overdose.
Saratoga County is utilizing its Department of Health’s Substance Use Surveillance System for a data driven approach to identify optimal locations for NaloxBox placements throughout Saratoga County. The County’s Department of Health will distribute a total of 35 NaloxBoxes to community organizations, businesses, and towns for installation in public spaces countywide. The program’s cost of $9,134 was paid for with Opioid Settlement Funds.
Saratoga County has received approximately $1,156,700 in Opioid Settlement Funds since last year and has dedicated its use to a multi-agency approach between the Saratoga County Department of Health, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Sheriff’s Office to provide prevention, education, treatment and response services and programs to fight the effects of the opioid epidemic.
To date in 2023, there have been 30 drug-related overdose fatalities in Saratoga County, a 30% increase from this time in 2022. Additionally in 2023, the 12866 zip code (Saratoga Springs), has experienced 109 non-fatal and fatal drug-related overdoses. To view real-time substance use surveillance data, visit the Saratoga County Substance Use Surveillance Dashboard at https://savealifeto.day.
Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, is a safe medication that can save someone’s life by reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. It only works on opioids, such as heroin, prescription pain medications and fentanyl, but it is safe to use even if opioids are not present. 911 should always be called after administering Naloxone. New York State’s Good Samaritan Law allows people to call 911 without fear of arrest if they are having a drug overdose that requires emergency medical care or if they witness someone overdosing.