Emergency training offered in response to overdoses

COPAKE—In response to the large number of overdoses in Columbia County in the past seven days, Columbia Pathways To Recovery, in cooperation with Project Safe Point, has scheduled a community Narcan training.

This free training is scheduled for Wednesday, July 5, 7 p.m. at Copake Town Hall, 230 Mountainview Road. People can sign up on the Columbia Pathways To Recovery Facebook page or they can show up the night of the training. No advanced registration is necessary.

“We’ve learned there may have been as many as 15 overdoses and there were 2 that were fatalities. This training is open to all residents who want to know how to administer Narcan to potentially reverse an opiate overdose and everyone that participates will receive a Narcan kit they can take home with them,” according to a June 30 press release from Carl Quinn, president of Columbia Pathways To Recovery.

In a June 26 press release, Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett sought the public’s assistance in connection with the escalating drug activity.

Columbia County emergency responders were kept busy this weekend (June 24, 25) responding to a rash of heroin-related incidents across the county. The sudden increase in overdoses is likely due to a particularly potent batch of heroin hitting area streets, the release said.

“We’ve seen quite a spike in activity the past 48 hours. We’re working collectively with our local, state and federal partners to share information and coordinate a response,” said the sheriff.

He encouraged anyone who witnesses a friend or family member suffering from a heroin overdose, to not wait–to call for help immediately.

“We want people to call for help. We aren’t looking to lock people up who are calling to help someone. They’re protected by Good Samaritan, and we encourage them to do the right thing and call 911,” Sheriff Bartlett said in the release.

The Good Samaritan Law exempts persons suffering from an overdose, and witnesses calling for help, from arrest and prosecution for possession and/or being under the influence of drugs.

The Sheriff asked anyone with tips related to drug activity to call the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tips Hotline at 518 822-8477. Tips may also be submitted online at www.columbiacountysheriff.us/crime-tips. Reports are kept confidential, and those providing information may do so anonymously.

Columbia Pathways To Recovery (CPR) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit based in Ghent. Contact the group at columbiapathwaystorecovery.org or at facebook.com/columbiapathwaystorecovery or by phone at 518 966-2775. CPR also runs a Recovery Helpline staffed by recovery volunteers that is available 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 7 days a week which can be reached by calling 877-HOPE-365.

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