SUNY Potsdam and Canton police officers to be equipped with heroin antidote
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 11:45 am

SUNY Potsdam and Canton campus police officers will soon be equipped with naloxone, the effective heroin antidote that can instantly reverse the effects of an opioid or heroin overdose.

The Community Overdose Prevention (COP) program will provide SUNY police with almost $27,000 to purchase 258 naloxone kits for 12 SUNY campuses across the state, according to a prepared statement from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

Each naloxone kit consists of a zip bag or pouch containing two prefilled syringes of naloxone, two atomizers for nasal administration, sterile gloves and a booklet on the use of the drug. The cost of a naloxone kit is approximately $60, and the shelf life of each kit is approximately two years.

“The COP Program is an essential part of our effort to combat the epidemic of heroin overdoses plaguing communities here in New York State and across the country,” said Schneiderman.

“In just the past year, we’ve seen multiple students overdose on SUNY campuses—a tragic reminder that the crisis we’ve seen in the news is not so far from our students’ dorm rooms. By providing SUNY campus officers with naloxone, we are making this stunningly effective overdose antidote available to institutions that educate and care for our students.”

In May, a SUNY Oswego student died on campus from a heroin overdose and two suffered near-fatal overdoses off campus. In April, an Oswego student died in his home off campus from a heroin overdose. Last year, a graduate student died from a heroin overdose on campus at Binghamton.

Since the fall of 2010, the police department of Quincy, Massachusetts, the first department in the nation to require its officers to carry naloxone, has used the drug 221 times and successfully reversed 211 overdoses (as of February), a success rate of over 95 percent. In New York’s Suffolk County, state police saved more than 170 people.

Since the COP Program was launched April 3, more than 200 law-enforcement agencies applied to the COP program.