New Jersey Police to begin carrying Narcan

January 25, 2014

Narcan naloxone opiate overdose prevention kit

Police in the state of New Jersey will soon begin to carry Narcan (naloxone), a drug that is used to counteract overdoses of an opiate drug such as heroin or morphine. Since 2010, opiate overdose deaths in New Jersey have risen along with heroin use. For opiate overdose, naloxone is commonly administered by injection, though there is also a nasal spray available.

Naloxone works by counteracting the life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system. Needle exchanges frequently distribute naloxone on its own or include it in safe injection kits as an overdose prevention method. In the U.S. alone, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that take-home doses of naloxone and training on its utilization have prevented 10,000 opiate overdose deaths.

N.J. heroin overdose surge prompts smart police response with Narcan antidote - January 5, 2015

Following in the footsteps of dozens of communities across the country, police in several New Jersey counties are expected to begin carrying a temporary antidote for drug overdoses.

The nasal spray Narcan can delay the effects of an opioid for 90 minutes, enough time to get an overdose victim to a hospital for life-saving treatment. Narcan or other forms of naloxone previously had been used only by hospital staff, but a law passed last year in New Jersey makes it legal for almost anyone to administer the antidote when life is on the line – the user's family, a bystander, police and first-responders.

The Opioid Antidote and Overdose Prevention Act, a "good Samaritan" law, protects those who render aid to overdose victims.

Police in Hunterdon, Ocean, Camden and Cape May counties could begin carrying the aerosol form of naloxone, which counteracts the effects of heroin and other opioids, in the next few months, the Star-Ledger's James Queally reported.

It's a necessary tool at a time when record numbers of people are struggling with heroin and prescription drug addiction across the state. Prescription drug abuse is now deemed an epidemic by the Centers for Disease and Control. But when the supply of oxycodone or other painkillers runs low or grows too expensive, many drug abusers switch to heroin.

And heroin use has surged in New Jersey since 2010, paving the way for a record number of deaths.

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