Overdose Awareness
By Assistant Chief James Alfano
February 15, 2022

The Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps would like to warn parents about a recent influx of life-threatening overdoses that have been occurring within schools.

While the specific drug or substance that is being used or ingested at this time is still unknown to school administration and law enforcement, please be aware that overdoses have been seen after the usage of vape pens and has also been seen mixed in with candy. Below is some advice to share with your children about how to avoid drug-usage.

1. Take inventory of all prescription or over-the-counter medications in your home. While it may not be your child who taking them, peer pressure to supply others still exists.
2. Help your child avoid dangerous substances. Point out harmful chemicals such as vapes, or vape pens, as well as potential ingestible drugs that could be hidden in foods & candy.
3. Remind your child that if they are offered any type of food, drink, snack, or candy from a friend, to please decline the offer.
4. Teach your child different ways to say “No!”. Parents are the strongest influence that children have. Brainstorm with your children about how to turn down drug offers.
5. Correct any wrong beliefs your child may have. Help them understand the difference between make-believe TV scenarios, and real life. Without immediate treatment, an overdose of any type could cause life threatening ailments or even death.
6. Talk to them about the word Narcan. While it may be seen in the news, social media, or talked about around school, Narcan is a medication that reverses the effects of a narcotic overdose. Let them know this medication is not a second chance at life. It may NOT always work, depending on what is taken and how much.
7. Remind your child, “if you see something, say something.” Information regarding the type of substance being used, where its coming from, or who is using it can be reported confidentially to both school administration and the Riverhead Town Police Department.
8. Be aware of possible red flags such as: Sudden or extreme change in friends, eating habits, sleeping patterns, physical appearance, and academic performance.
9. Get professional help. If you think your child is involved in drug use, contact a doctor, counselor, or other health care provider for help.

James Alfano
Assistant Chief
Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps