On Long Island’s East End, the community was rocked in the summer of 2021, when, in the course of one week, six people fatally overdosed on cocaine that was laced with fentanyl.
The victims ranged in age from 25 to 40 in a tragedy that deeply affected staff members at Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital, which is part of the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system.
Now, the hospital, a provider of behavioral healthcare for the East End, is collaborating with local businesses to offer Narcan rescue stations at area establishments. Joining in this efforts is Greenport Village Business Improvement District, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. and Community Action for Social Justice.
The first two stations were installed at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. in Peconic and Greenport.
“It’s painful to remember the summer of 2021,” Richard Vandenburgh, owner of Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. and president of the BID, wrote in a letter to local business owners.
“Over one horrible week, the lives of Nicole Eckardt, Fausto Rafael Herrera Campos, Swainson Brown, Matthew Lapiana, Seth Tramontana and Navid Ahmadzadeh were cut short,” he said in the letter. “As the head of the Greenport Village Business Improvement District, and a member of this amazing, compassionate community, I am reaching out to ask you to help me prevent more tragedies like the one we faced in 2021.”
Vandenburgh also spoke at recent North Fork Chamber of Commerce and Mattituck Chamber of Commerce meetings, stressing the importance of the Narcan Rescue Stations not only in Greenport but throughout the North Fork, as well.
The Narcan Rescue Stations come with multiple doses of naloxone, the life-saving drug that prevents death from opioid overdose, as well as detailed administering instructions. Additionally, free training will be provided to any business. As the program has been underwritten by SBELIH, the BID, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. and CASJ, the Narcan rescue stations come at no cost to participating establishments.
“The tragedy that occurred in 2021 could have been prevented,” Paul Connor, chief administrative officer at SBELIH, said in a statement. “These Narcan rescue stations will honor the legacies of those we’ve lost by ensuring nobody else meets the same tragic fate.”
Several Greenport businesses, including Claudio’s, Ellen’s On Front, GDC Roller Skate Rink, and Front Street Station have already committed to installing Narcan rescue stations.
Businesses can sign up for Narcan rescue stations here.