The program allows eligible offenders to meet with peer coaches to provide them with a naloxone kit and talk to them about the program. The peer coach will also encourage the individual to visit a community based Resource and Recovery Center, of which there are two on Staten Island – one that runs 24 hours on the North Shore by Community Health Action of Staten Island, and another that operates on the South Shore by Christopher’s Reason and the Resource Training Center. If the individual decides to pursue treatment, the case will not be prosecuted.
“We have to think outside the box on this issue,” said BP Oddo. “We’ve begun to do that with our Too Good for Drugs and HOPE initiatives. We need to work together with law enforcement, health professionals and community-based organizations to help educate the next generation about the dangers of opioids and get those in need into treatment. This initiative is just one part of our multi-faceted approach to dealing with the opioid epidemic.”
“This effort recognizes that substance abuse illness is both a public health and a public safety crisis that is endangering our community and demands urgent collective action. Too often in our criminal justice system, individuals suffering from substance abuse disorder find that treatment or services are too far out of their reach or offered too late in the process to have meaning in their lives. Putting this effort in place has been an extraordinary example of the power that government can harness and mobilize across multiple disciplines to tackle a crisis effectively,” said District Attorney Michel McMahon.
In 2015, Staten Island had the highest rate of overdose death of any of the five boroughs and one of the highest rates in all of New York State. Last year, the NYPD reported more than 90 suspected overdose deaths on Staten Island and an additional 74 overdose-reversals with the drug Naloxone made by the NYPD.