DeSando working to get Narcan everywhere


By Jim Poole

David DeSando is on a mission to get Narcan to as many people who need it as possible––for free.
A retired pharmacist from Cobleskill Regional Hospital, Mr. DeSando wants to have the treatment for drug overdoses in as many locations as possible.
And he’s doing this as a hobby, not a job.
Narcan is a nasal spray that reverses an opioid overdose. Narcan can be expensive, and Mr. DeSando knows that people who need it may not have the money to buy it.
He’s long been interested in treating addiction. Going online, Mr. DeSando learned that in Indiana, Narcan boxes, which hold many treatments, are widespread.
“I figured, this is what I want to do,” Mr. DeSando said.
He approached Dr. Roy Korn of the Schoharie County Medical Society, and Dr. Korn gave his full support. The Society provided $600 for Mr. DeSando to buy 10 boxes similar to those used in Indiana.
He then asked Cobleskill Police Chief Justin Manchester and County Undersheriff Bruce Baker for money left over from the Drug Dropoff Program. That money bought another 10 boxes.
The state and federal governments provide Narcan for free.
Labeled ‘Overdose Emergency Kit,” the boxes are in stores and libraries around the county. Host locations have no liability and have only to point out the boxes to those seeking Narcan.
“They’re for families and friends of someone who may have an addiction,” Mr. DeSando said. “It gives one more chance to recover.”
Host locations contact him when a box is out of treatments.
“Just call. That’s all I ask,” he said.
Hardly a novice, Mr. DeSando is backed not only by the County Medical Society, he’s also authorized by the state Department of Health. Besides that, Mr. DeSando is on the board of the Schoharie County Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse (SCCASA).
He credits Ava Burton, a recent high school graduate, with helping him place the boxes and also presenting programs about their availability.
With boxes already at 17 sites, Mr. DeSando is looking for more. He’s hoping for funds from Opioid Settlement money to buy more boxes, maybe up to 30 more.
“I still have to do Sharon Springs, Esperance, Gilboa and other towns,” Mr. DeSando said.
He plans to put boxes in Worcester, Delanson and other towns bordering Schoharie County.
“This is about saving lives,” Mr. DeSando said. “I do what I can for the community.”
Anyone interested in having a Narcan box can reach Mr. DeSando at 518-365-0407.
The locations for free Narcan:
Cobleskill: The Community Library, Race Printing, Chieftans Restaurant, Catholic Charities, Cellar 77, Cobleskill Regional Hospital, Family Medical Practice, Cobleskill Diner and SUNY Cobleskill.
Schoharie: Chemical Dependency Clinic, Your Way Cave, Mobil Country Mart, Schoharie Free Library and The Apple Barrel.
Middleburgh: Mrs. K’s Kitchen and Middleburgh Library.
Richmondville: Cargie’s Corner Deli.
Mr. DeSando is looking for other locations to host Narcan boxes. Anyone interested can reach him at 518-365-0407.