Buttenschon Praises Overdose “Call to Action” and Proposes Additional Measures

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) praised the issuance by the Oneida County Executive of a “call to action” to address opioid overdoses. The County has set a goal of reducing overdose deaths by 10% by the end of the year. The “call to action” requires all county offices to carry opioid antagonists like naloxone which can reverse overdoses if administered in time. The measure also outlines a number of other steps the county will take to reduce overdoes.

Buttenschon pointed out that data cited by the County Executive showed that about 25% of overdoses in Oneida County occur in public places. Buttenschon noted that a bill she introduced, A. 9324, would combat this problem by requiring establishments that primarily serve the public, like restaurants and retail stores, to carry naloxone and train staff to administer the medication.

“The opioid epidemic has affected millions of families throughout America, and it’s critical that we address this crisis,” Buttenschon said. “My bill ensures critical, lifesaving opioid antagonists like Narcan are present and readily available in busy, public locations and requires that workers are trained to administer these important medications during emergencies. By combining our efforts and implementing thoughtful policies, we can reduce overdose deaths in our county.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fentanyl overdoses were the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 45 from April 2020 to April 2021. Overdose deaths can be prevented if Narcan is administered soon after overdose symptoms manifest. Buttenschon’s bill would require all public facilities to carry opioid antagonists in first aid kits and require the education and training for staff employed in such places in the administration of opioid antagonists, which would prevent deaths due to overdoses (A.9324).