CLIFTON PARK, N.Y.(NEWS10) – In response to the opioid crisis and the increase in overdose deaths, the Saratoga County Department of Health will distribute free naloxone overdose rescue kits along with offering training to the public. This was decided after the county saw an increase in cases, according to Dr. Daniel Kuhles, Saratoga County Health Services Commissioner.

“We reported between January 13th to January 18th,” he said. “There were ten overdoses reported with one fatality.”

This was when the department partnered with the Clifton Park and Halfmoon emergency corps to distribute the kits. Dr. Kuhles says that the kits can be essential. When combined with resources and treatments.

“They are the difference between life and death. And one analogy often used is CPR or an AED,” he said.

According to the CDC, there has been a  30% increase in overdose deaths across the country and a 14% increase in overdose deaths in new york between 2020 and 2021. 

Dr. Kuhles also reminds the public that the New York state’s Good Samaritan Law still allows people to call 911 without fear of arrest if the person or someone they know is experiencing a drug overdose and needs immediate medical attention.

Each kit will include two doses of naloxone, a pair of medical gloves, a rescue breathing face shield, and a certificate of training. But there will be more kits available for those unable to attend.

“Individuals that can’t come here today or choose not to come here today can sign up… all they need is an email address,” Dr. Kuhles said. “They don’t need to give their name if they don’t want to, and we will reach out to them and link them with an overdose response kit and resources in the community.”