The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) today announced the launch of a new fentanyl campaign designed to prevent overdose deaths and empower the public with information needed to help save lives. The statewide “Prevent Overdose” Campaign will run for four weeks and is designed to raise awareness about the perilous dangers of mixing fentanyl with illicit drugs such as counterfeit prescription pills, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine (both powder and crack), ecstasy and others. Campaign components include social media with and video streaming messages with a new webpage to provide a wealth of resources including a schedule of naloxone trainings. A new episode of “New Hope, New Life with OASAS”, produced in English and Spanish, will also include information about reports of increases in overdose deaths which may be related to fentanyl being laced in drugs.
“During this extremely challenging and unprecedented time with the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals and families are experiencing increased stress and anxiety and some are struggling with addiction,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force. “It’s important now more than ever to make sure New Yorkers know the resources and services available to them to help prevent overdose and save lives. This new public awareness campaign will raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl and other substances and the reports of increases in overdose deaths that we continue to combat in our communities. New York State is committed to our efforts providing the care, support and treatment people need to live healthy and safe lives.”
“So many of our fellow New Yorkers are dealing with the consequences of addiction and our campaigns enable us to let them know that we are always here to provide knowledge and the support needed to make healthy choices that foster a substance free lifestyle, whether it’s for themselves or a loved one,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “By keeping the public informed, we will be able reach those who are in need of our invaluable and lifesaving resources.”
The “Prevent Overdose” Campaign will be featured as a new episode of “New Hope, New Life with OASAS” program, which is modeled after the successful “Nueva Esperanza, Nueva Vida con OASAS” television broadcast. It will air in Spanish on the Telemundo and Univision networks through the end of July in 10 statewide media markets. This new episode entitled, Addiction Services During Covid-19, will focus on OASAS prevention, treatment, and recovery supports and services during the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez is joined by key OASAS staff to discuss how services continue to be available via telehealth and/or from a safe distance in person.
Additionally, in an effort to further prevent overdose deaths and continue to educate the public about the this lifesaving naloxone medication, ongoing virtual trainings are also available by registering online. During these virtual sessions, participants will interact with an instructor to learn about how to recognize, respond to, and reverse an opioid overdose using intranasal naloxone (Narcan) and how to obtain this medication. Individuals are also encouraged to visit the OASAS website to learn more about the dangers of fentanyl.
New Yorkers are encouraged to carry naloxone to help when someone is experiencing an overdose. Under the New York State Department of Health’s Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program (N-CAP), individuals can access low-cost or no-cost naloxone at pharmacies across the state. At participating pharmacies, individuals with prescription coverage as part of their health insurance plan can receive up to $40 in co-payment assistance for the purchase of this lifesaving drug. Uninsured individuals and individuals without prescription coverage can receive naloxone at no cost through New York's network of registered opioid overdose prevention programs.
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPE line at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).
Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website.