Sharen I. Duke, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Alliance for Positive Change, issued the following statement today in response to the U.S, Surgeon General’s recommendation for more widespread distribution of life-saving naloxone kits:
"Our city, state and nation are facing an unprecedented opioid epidemic in recent years, and the Surgeon General’s recommendation hopefully will raise more alarm that it takes more than government and healthcare providers to save lives – it takes everyday people. People who can be the first to respond when they are equipped with the skills and naloxone, and spot someone on the subway, on the street, or even in their homes, who may be overdosing.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in our country, outnumbering both traffic crashes and gun-related deaths. As the Surgeon General notes, every day we lose 115 people to opioid overdose in this country – one person every 12½ minutes.
Ask yourself: if you saw someone overdosing on the street, would you know what to do? Most people would not, but there are simple steps you can take to save someone’s life, and it begins with recognizing the signs of an overdose and knowing how to respond quickly. At Alliance, we want to help New Yorkers step up to save a life and give that person a second chance.”