Nassau County Offers Free Weekly Meetings For Opioid Addicts And Families

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Learn about Nassau’s newest and successful treatment program for those who are dependent on heroin or pain pills, by attending one of the county’s free weekly education and support groups. Those suffering from addiction, as well as their family members and friends, are welcome to attend the informational meeting which is held every Tuesday, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Saint Bernard’s, 3100 Hempstead Tpke. in Levittown, room 206.

Statistics indicate that 195 people died in Nassau last year from opioid overdoses. In 2017, as of July 15, 98 residents have died from an overdose of prescription and/or illegal drugs. The county’s program, called A Shot at Life, combines monthly injections of long acting Naltrexone—an opioid blocker—with substance abuse counseling or other treatment, for about 15 months.

Vivitrol—the brand-name of the non-narcotic, non-addictive shot—is administered by a healthcare professional and therefore can’t be abused or diverted. It works by capping the brain’s opiate receptors for about 28 days, blocking the user’s high and reducing the cravings for opioids. It’s FDA-approved for relapse prevention, is covered under most private insurance and Medicaid and is available at more than a dozen substance abuse treatment agencies across the Island. Recipients should be willing to stop, and be opioid-free for 7-10 days, before receiving the initial shot or risk precipitated withdrawal.

Nassau’s Opioid Treatment Program, located in Building K on the grounds of Nassau University Medical Center, offers Vivitrol, Methadone and Suboxone treatment tracks—on an outpatient basis. To be screened for possible admission into the county’s Shot at Life program, call the clinic’s intake number at 516-572-5801.

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