A shot away

Overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in New York City, New York State, and the country. Since 2010, overdoses are on the rise across income brackets and demographics in New York City. The city’s Office of Vital Statistics reports that the rate of overdose deaths in the city’s lowest poverty neighborhoods ¬†increased by 300% ¬† between 2010 and 2012.

But unlike other causes of accidental death, overdose has a veritable cure. Naloxone, brand name Narcan, reverses the depression of the respiratory system that causes death from overdose. Emergency rooms have been using it since the seventies, when it was approved by the FDA. Some advocacy groups are now trying to increase access to naloxone, training users to bring others back to life.

In this video, Eddie Rodriguez, a former user and current employee of VOCAL, a drug users’ organization, talks about the thin line between using and not-using amid the ever-present risk of overdose.

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