NY will require public colleges to have Narcan in dorms to help prevent fatal overdoses

Posted 28 October 2022 at 4:06 pm

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

In recognition of Red Ribbon Week, Governor Hochul today signed legislation (S.3448A/A.4485B) that will require all public colleges in New York to have a supply of opioid antagonists in their housing facilities.

Opioid antagonists, such as Naloxone, are lifesaving medicines which reverse the fatal effects of an opioid overdose. In addition to ensuring all State University of New York and City University of New York owned or operated housing facilities stock this vital medicine, resident assistants and other designated employees of the colleges will be trained to administer these antagonists in the case of overdose emergencies.

“By signing this legislation, lifesaving overdose prevention medicine will be required in SUNY and CUNY campus housing, as well as trained staff on-site – leading to faster response times and helping prevent needless tragedies,” Hochul said. “My Administration will continue to work every day to fight the opioid epidemic and provide New Yorkers with further access to lifesaving resources, services, and care.”

This bill comes in response to the ongoing opioid epidemic crisis. Opioid overdoses have surpassed gun-related murders and car accidents as the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old, with as many as 64,000 people last year estimated to have lost their lives. New York State is no exception to this crisis, experiencing over 2,939 fatally overdosed in 2019.

The risk of overdose deaths have continued to be high among all demographic groups and among residents of almost every New York City neighborhood. By having on-site opioid antagonists in schools and trained resident assistants capable of administering these antigens, these lifesaving medications are a common sense solution to preventing more overdose-related fatalities.

This signing is in recognition of Red Ribbon Week, part of the largest drug-abuse prevention campaign in the United States. The Red Ribbon Campaign serves to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Since that time, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children and families in its effort to keep communities safe, healthy and drug-free, through parent training, networking.