News Articles

New Study Backs Emergency Lifesaving Treatment for Drug Overdose

Photo Credit:  Rémi Walle

by John-Mark de Palma

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association advocates for expanding access to naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose. Researchers found a 34% reduction in opioid deaths in states that allowed pharmacists to directly dispense naloxone. It was found that there was no change in opioid death rate in states where naloxone was dispensed indirectly by pharmacists. The study also points out that other factors may also contribute to the reduction in overdose-related fatalities, such as wider access to addiction treatment programs in the states that allow pharmacists to directly dispense naloxone.  

Catholic Charities of New York, a leader in confronting the opioid crisis in New York State, offers services and access to treatment programs and Naloxone (narcan) training programs. Approximately 1,500 people have been trained by Catholic Charities to administer narcan in the event of an overdose. 

Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster County provides services and treatment to over 3,200 individuals suffering from the disease of addiction including assisting: 

  • More than 250 individuals with detox services 

  • More than 100 individuals with residential services 

  • Nearly 3,000 individuals with outpatient services 

The study's researchers suggest the overall naloxone policy is impacting the reduction of opioid fatalities. In cases where naloxone is administered, people are also advised to call 911. Hence, the person who receives the naloxone may also be taken to the emergency room and thereby treated before he or she becomes a fatality. States like New York that allow direct naloxone access have more robust ER-based addiction treatment programs that are actively engaged in community outreach to opioid users through orginazations such as Catholic Charities of New York.

The Catholic Charities Chemical Dependency Prevention program in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster County, for instance, reaches more than 13,700 individuals, many of whom were youth and their family members, through a variety of evidence-based programs provided at schools and community groups, as well as community events, training, and outreach. 

Catholic Charities provides treatment access, peer services, clinical programs, tele-health programs, and mobile treatment services. They also offer individual, family and group therapy for substance abuse and case management services to those battling addiction. In addition, school, community, and peer-based prevention programs for youth are also administered. “Tragically, it is our young people that are most at risk for succumbing to the lure of opioids,” Dr. Dean Scher, CEO, Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan said recently. “That’s why prevention is critically important – we must provide our children with the tools and coping methods necessary to address the many pressures they face.” 


Related Content: 
A new study backs up a lifesaving approach to the opioid epidemic | Vox 
Confronting the Opioid Crisis Head On | Catholic Charities of New York 

New York State Targets Huge Grant to Catholic Charities Orange Sullivan to Fight Opioid Crises | Catholic Charities of New York 

Jacqueline, A Single Mother, Battles Addiction with the Help of Catholic Charities | Catholic Charities of New York 

Catholic Charities Hosts Free Narcan Training for Community Members | Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster County 


Catholic Charities Agencies offering substance abuse services 

Alcohol & Substance Abuse Programs 

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services