Opioid overdose is a serious health issue that has reached epidemic proportions. For the first time ever, it is more likely that a U.S. citizen will die from an opioid overdose than in a motor vehicle accident. Deaths from opioid overdose are often preventable, as long as a witness recognizes the problem, knows how to respond appropriately and has access to the tools needed to respond. One such tool is the opioid antagonist, naloxone.
While Binghamton University has been fortunate so far to have had few incidents of opioid overdose in its community, Binghamton University students live in a society that reaches beyond this campus. They live in a culture and are at an age in which they are more likely to observe illegal drug use. Training in opioid overdose prevention is a tool they can take beyond the Binghamton campus to the benefit of the greater Binghamton area and their home communities.
In 2014, New York State created rules and regulations (NYS PHL § 3309 and 10 NYCRR 80.138) to implement and regulate Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs (OOPP) to train non-medical persons to recognize and manage opioid overdose and to increase public naloxone access. In spring 2019, Binghamton University became registered as an Opioid Overdose Prevention Program that aims to train individuals in the use of naloxone and distribute the life-saving medication free of charge to program participants.
Interested in being trained?
Information on scheduled training can be found on the web. If you would like to request a training for an organization or have additional questions, reach out to Bennett Doughty, program director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need a training refresher?
An instructional video for training review can be found online.
Already trained and need more naloxone?
If you responded to an overdose after attending a training program, go online for proper reporting and plan to present to Decker Student Health Services in the near future to receive a new kit.
Information on liability/Good Samaritan Law
Under Public Health Law Section 3309, “A recipient or opioid overdose prevention program under this section, acting reasonably and in good faith in compliance with this section, shall not be subject to criminal, civil or administrative liability solely by reason of such action.” Recipient “means a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose, or a family member, friend or other person in a position to assist a person experiencing or at risk of experiencing an opioid‐related overdose, or an organization registered as an opioid overdose prevention program pursuant to this section.” Thus, this liability coverage applies to both the trained responders and registered organizations.
Further, “the purchase, acquisition, possession or use of an opioid antagonist pursuant to this section shall not constitute the unlawful practice of a profession or other violation under title eight of the education law or this article…Use of an opioid antagonist pursuant to this section shall be considered first aid or emergency treatment for the purpose of any statute relating to liability." Prescribers also have adequate liability coverage through this program.
Thus, no participant in the Binghamton University OOPP is in danger of any liability issues related to the possession or use of the naloxone nasal spray.
911 Good Samaritan Law
Some individuals may fear that police will respond to a 911 call and that there will be criminal charges for themselves or for the person who overdosed. Those fears should never keep anyone from calling 911 immediately. It may be a matter of life or death.
In September 2011, the 911 Good Samaritan Law went into effect to address fears about a police response to an overdose. This law provides significant legal protection against criminal charge and prosecution for possession of controlled substances, as well as possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. This protection applies to both the person seeking assistance in good faith as well as to the person who has overdosed. Class A-1 drug felonies as well as sale or intent to sell controlled substances are not covered by the law.
Other resources for obtaining training/medication
If you are unable to attend a training provided by the Binghamton University OOPP and/or acquire a naloxone kit, you may seek out another Opioid Overdose Prevention Program in the area or find a local pharmacy that carries naloxone. Of note, many pharmacies participate in the Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program (N-CAP), which covers co-payments for naloxone in an amount up to $40 for each prescription dispensed.
If you are a trained responder in the Binghamton University OOPP and have responded to an opioid overdose, ensure that you complete the initial reporting form.
If you or someone you know is having a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
Binghamton University Counseling Center
Binghamton University Police
607-777-2222 or 911 from a campus phone
Broome County Health Department
Decker Student Health Services Center
Harpur's Ferry Ambulance
Health Promotion and Prevention Services
New York State Health Department Opioid Overdose Initiative
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
Find a treatment facility
New York state: combataddiction.ny.gov
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357)
Binghamton University Opioid Overdose Prevention Program
Bennett Doughty, Program Director