Families of people who died from an overdose gathered yesterday, on Valentine’s Day, to call attention to overdose deaths.
They wanted to bring attention to the 911 Good Samaritan law, which urges people to call 911 if they find out about an overdose.
Accidental drug overdose is the No. 1 cause of accidental death in the state, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.
On Long Island, 359 people fatally overdosed last year alone, the group said.
Evan Goldstein at the Drug Policy Alliance said there were 1,718 overdose deaths in 2009 in New York, the most recent data available. About 70 percent of those deaths were from opioids, such as prescription pain pills or heroin, he said.
The group said they are concerned that people do not want to call 911 because they are afraid of legal repercussions for the drugs.
Officials in the city have been fighting what they call an “epidemic” of prescription pail pill abuse.