Bins, sharps containers and garbage pails began to fill up as members from the Levittown Community want to help make a stand and are concerned with what is happening in their community.
This past weekend at Wisdom Lane Middle School, The Levittown Community Action Coalition urged members of the Levittown and Island Trees community to empty out their medicine cabinets and dispose medication or drugs that are no longer needed from old medical prescriptions.
The Levittown Community Action Coalition works with the Levittown and Island trees community to prevent substance abuse in the community and help keep the community safe. Many lives have been lost due to opioid academic. The LCAC works with the school’s churches, local police departments, and other stake holders within the Levittown community to help spread the word and fight against substance abuse addiction.
At Drug Take Back Day people came and dropped off any unused narcotics or expired medication in their house. The police department takes it and deposes it, to get it out of people’s homes. The LCAC stresses that once you don’t need your medication anymore for a certain prescription, get those medicine or drugs out of the house.
“We have talked to real estate companies and during open houses people actually come back home and their medicine is gone, it’s a problem.” Said Corrine Alba who is the Co-Chair of LCAC and is a director for YES Community Counselling Center, a non-for-profit community-based organization that does substance abuse counselling for people struggling with addiction. YES works close with the Levittown Community Action Coalition.
“We want people to come today because we find that the opioid academic usually starts with pills.” Said Elizabeth Roemer, who is the Assistant Super Intendant for Curriculum and Instruction at Island Trees High School.
Drug Take Back Day is a safe way to get rid of them. “I wanted to get rid of what I had in my medicine cabinet, there’s no need for it.” Said Margaret Thomas.
A lot of work with prevention is also done with the kids in the schools. LCAC has a youth committee of about 32 kids in both school districts (Island Trees and Levittown) that focus on underage drinking vaping, and marijuana because it can lead to bigger addictions. “We want kids from all various groups to join the Coalition to try and get a sense of what is attracting them to the vaping” said Roemer. “There is a real concern for vaping and teachers will start to play videos about the dangers of vaping to the students.” Roemer added.
In 2017-2018 there were 72 overdoses reported in the Levittown Community and of the reported, 12 were fatal. “A lot of deaths over 40 in the Levittown community which is higher compared to other communities. The average is in the twenties.” Added Alba
These numbers are probably higher because with an overdose it might be documented as a heart attack or different diseases which is true and its connected but what they do find out from the family’s is that it was an overdose and they were struggling from addiction.” Said Alba
There has been an increase in overdoses on Long Island every year. This interactive graph shows the increase of Nassau and Suffolk County by year. The numbers for 2017 are still unofficial. Sources: Suffolk County medical examiner’s office and Nassau County medical examiner’s office.
LCAC is training people in Naloxone (Narcan) which reverses the opioid overdose. A nasal spray that goes up the persons nose and will actually reverse the overdose. They person who overdoses comes back to life pretty much immediately. There were 54 reported documented saves from naloxone. These numbers can be higher because not every save is reported.
“Sometimes with these saves, the police or EMT will report that they are going back to the same house a lot sometimes to the same house and even the same people, in the same night.” Said Alba
Drug overdoses on Long Island continue to be a problem but The Levittown Community Action Coalition is doing everything they can to help make a difference in their community.