Local funeral homes could soon carry Narcan

July 13, 2018 06:03 AM

Funeral directors in our area will soon have access to a life-saving tool.

The Gates Police Department is teaming up with Trillium Health to offer free Narcan training for funeral directors, it will also include a free kit for them to have in their funeral home.

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“People go to calling hours and they’re under stress, emotional stress,” explained Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode. He added that when someone passes away from an overdose, it is likely a friend attending the services may use similar drugs.

“Calculating the risk someone could overdose at the funeral home or the parking lot is a likelihood,” said Chief VanBrederode. 

An addiction so powerful, even seeing a friend die from it isn’t enough to stop someone from using. 

“I’m in long-term recovery. I know what it is like. Nothing else matters; food, water, shelter. You’ll do whatever it takes to get the next fix,” expressed Dave Attridge with Recovery Now NY.

He works often with the Gates Police Department and supports Narcan training for community members.

“It’s a miracle drug as far as I’m concerned. It has saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives in this county alone,” shared Attridge.

Local funeral directors also work hand-in-hand with local law enforcement and plan on signing up for the training.

“It can save someone. [An overdose] is an unfortunate situation but positive in that they can bring their loved one to a hospital for treatment instead of a funeral home,” said Eric Van Zeilen, owner of Murphy’s Funeral Home. 

He explained it could be another emergency tool to have in place; similar to a fire extinguisher, AED, or First Aid Kit.

“In the past few years, we’ve seen a rise in overdoses…to get that call, it’s devastating. And to see, if we're talking to a parent, a spouse, a brother or sister, the hollow look they give you, they’re in shock,” he expressed. 

He goes on to add, “the whole staff is affected, their heart breaks even if they didn’t know the person.”

Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode also plans on targeting other industries where overdoses occur. He will soon offer Narcan training to motel and hotel staff.

“We’ve had fatal overdoses in these hotels and motels, as well as non-fatal, that will be our next target,” said Chief VanBrederode.

Recovery Now NY, which includes programs like Gates to Recovery, will also work with police on those targets.

Over the last 11 months, they have been able to get 150 people into treatment. 

“That’s why we do these programs to let people know there is hope, people do care, and love you. Come on in and we can get you started on this new life,” said Attridge.

You can find their services by clicking here.


Stephanie Robusto

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