Have You Seen the Red Boxes in New Paltz? They’re Supposed to Save Lives
What are the new red boxes being installed in many prominent businesses all across the town of New Paltz? They're not defibrillators, but they are part of a new live-saving effort in the town.
Overdose Response in the Hudson Valley
The boxes are a direct response to the opioid epidemic that has been ravaging so many rural areas of our country. While there has been efforts to curb the use of the drugs, as well as massive lawsuits against the drugs' manufacturers, there has been a recent increase in efforts to save the lives of those who have already overdosed and are facing a possible fatal response. The town of New Paltz started implementing this new "weapon" in the fight against drug-related deaths last year, but a renewed effort is seeing over 20 new installations this month. So, what's in the box?
Naloxone Boxes in New Paltz, NY
The New Paltz Opioid Overdose Prevention and Response Team (NPOOPRT) is installing naloxone boxes to help with an immediate response to an opioid overdose. More commonly known as the commercial drug Narcan, it is specifically used to combat the effects of an overdose. From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone.
The kits installed in New Paltz businesses will not only contain the potentially life-saving drug, but instructions for use as well.
The response was very positive on the New Paltz Police Department's Facebook page. "Thank you to the Town of New Paltz Police Department for once again being ahead of the curve and trying to implement proactive solutions to addressing issues, rather than reactive. The culture of this department is amazing and we’re proud to support and be apart of this community!", said a representative of Schatzi's Pub & Bier Garden, one of the many businesses to receive a box. Businesses are asked to call (845) 256-5014 for more information on receiving a kit.
Narcan Boxes in Orange County
Support for similar programs may be growing in other Hudson Valley counties as well. "The program is gaining traction in Orange County. The Wallkill Town Board voted on Wednesday night to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Orange County Department of Mental Health to place the boxes in select Town buildings", commented a local lawyer.