On July 20th, Rockland Connects Will Host a Candlelight Vigil in Memorial Park to Honor Overdose Victims.
by India Perez-Urbano
This past March, I wrote broadly about the issue of overdose in Rockland County. Today, I’d like to add to that picture, and to present an opportunity for our community to come together and act on this issue.
In 2016, Rockland County lost 40 individuals to overdose. But we must not forget the individuals who overdosed, were saved, and are still among us today. According to County Executive Ed Day, law enforcement officers reported an additional 54 incidents in which they have saved an individual from an overdose with naloxone. Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is an overdose antidote that can revive individuals within minutes. Overdose reversal training allows the layperson to carry naloxone and save a life.
Data from the Rockland Paramedics Services shows that in 2016 law enforcement responded to an average of one overdose per week, with the average age of overdosers being 32 years old. During the first five months of 2017, the average number of overdose responses rose to 1.9 overdoses a week; and the average age of overdosers dropped to 26 years old. Interestingly enough, the towns with the highest rates of overdose (between January 2016 and May 2017) are Nanuet, Pearl River, Spring Valley and Nyack.
We are living in a time when opioid use is touching many different communities and people of many different backgrounds. On July 20th, at 7:30p, Rockland Connects will be hosting a candlelight vigil in Nyack Memorial Park to bring these communities together and to bring forth the memories of those who have lost their lives to drug overdose. We encourage you to join us.
As part of Rockland Connects’ efforts to end overdose deaths in Rockland, we invite you to join our Overdose Responder Trainings held every first and third Monday of the month, at 6:30p, at the Nyack Center. We also hold trainings every fourth Tuesday of the month, at 6:30p, at the MLK Multi-Purpose Center in Spring Valley.
India Perez-Urbano is the founder of Rockland Connects. She graduated from Nyack High School in 2008 and Harvard University in 2016. You can contact India at RocklandConnects@gmail.com or (845) 535 1221.