According to CDC, unintentional drug overdoses killed more than 70,000 Americans in 2017, a 10% increase over 2016. Every six hours a person dies from an overdose in New York City and more than 80% of those deaths involve opioids. In 2017, hoping to reduce opioid-use mortalities, NewYork-Presbyterian began offering the Relay program.
When a patient experiences an opioid overdose, NYP notifies Relay and a “wellness advocate” with personal substance abuse experience arrives within an hour to offer patients naloxone kits, refer them to medication-assisted treatments and assist in obtaining needed social services such as housing or health insurance. Patients can work with the wellness advocate for up to 90 days. NYP also educated staff on treating addiction patients, focusing on non-opiate pain relief options and collaborating with community-based organizations to get treatment. Additionally, NYP has been providing free kits and conducting public training sessions on how to administer naloxone.
Since Relay’s launch, 157 overdose survivors from NYP have chosen to participate in the 24/7 program and more than 900 naloxone kits have been distributed through Relay, with 60% of recipients saying it was their first time receiving a kit.
For more information, contact Lauren Browdy, Media Associate, Communications, NewYork-Presbyterian, at (646) 951-2898 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.