Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As the school year gets underway on college campuses, SUNY schools are getting help in combatting potential drug overdoses.
Each of the SUNY schools with a police department is receiving Narcan kits, which can counteract the effects of a heroin overdose. "The good news for UB is we haven't had issues with heroin overdoses," says Chief Gerry Schoenle. But the problem has been evident around the country and elsewhere in the state. "There have been several SUNY campuses that had overdoses and four deaths as a result," adds Schoenle.
Another reason, says Schoenle, is heroin is becoming cheaper and easier to access. "Most of it I understand is coming from Mexico and Columbia, " explains Schoenle. "There's a difference from the heroin in the 70s where the purity was low and today's where it's 70 percent pure, leading to overdoses."
30 UB police officers have received Narcan training so far, which Schoenle says will allow Narcan to be available for each shift. Funding has been supplied by county health departments and by the attorney general's office.
The best part says Schoenle is the fact is if it's used in the event of another overdose, the patient will not be harmed.