Doctor helps fight opioid crisis in the Rockaways

New York City records show the number of opioid overdose fatalities in is climbing at an alarming rate. Dr. Janie Simmons says she is here to stop it.

"The point is to both educate and distribute this life-saving medication, naloxone, to the people who need it most in the Rockaways," Simmons said.

In March, Simmons received a city grant to fund her newest project called Rockaway Gets Naloxone. In an effort to save lives and give back to her own community, she distributes Naloxone kits and posts flyers. Simmons says Oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet, and heroin are some of the most common opioids floating illegally through the city. Their effects can often be stopped naloxone.

According to Dr. Simmons, the Bronx and Staten Island have the highest rate of opioid overdose fatalities in the city. But she says the Rockaways, and the nearby community of Broad Channel, have the most people in all of Queens who are hospitalized for drug and alcohol-related incidents.

The city's Health Department says Simmons' project is one of 12 programs funded by the agency to increase naloxone distribution in high-risk areas. This year, the city gave out $400,000 in grant money for this cause, which includes $30,000 for Rockaway Gets Naloxone.