As part of a state-wide initiative, New Jersey officials gave away 32 thousand doses of Narcan to pharmacies in many of the most hard-hit areas by the opioid epidemic. As the most effective opioid overdose antidote available on the market, naloxone (brand name Narcan) has saved thousands of lives. In recent years, heroin has been cut with fentanyl to increase the strength of the drug. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than both morphine and heroin, making this mix of heroin on the streets a truly deadly combination.
32 Thousand Doses of Narcan Given Away in New Jersey
Health officials are serious about tackling the opioid epidemic in New Jersey in an effort to save as many lives as possible. All of the participating pharmacies also provide information on addiction treatment when handing out the Narcan to those in need. This is all part of a broader initiative aimed at educating addicts who desperately need treatment but don’t know where to turn.
Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said about these recent efforts:
“Individuals with opioid addiction now have a better chance of surviving an overdose and getting connected to treatment, thanks to the willingness of New Jerseyans to carry naloxone and help us tackle this critical challenge in our State.”
While this is a welcome and positive first step, the battle doesn’t end here as more and more people are dying because of opioid overdoses in New Jersey. In 2018 there were over 3,000 opioid-related deaths in the state, up from 2,700 in 2017. These troubling trends continue to look grim even with health officials increasing their efforts at raising awareness.
How Narcan Works in Saving Lives
Narcan is an opioid antagonist and this class of drugs binds to opioid receptors and reverses the effects of those ingested opioids. For those experiencing an opioid-related overdose, an intranasal administration of Narcan can quickly reverse these life-threatening effects, including restoring normal breathing.
The Narcan given away in New Jersey comes in the form of a nasal spray which is very convenience. It’s pre-packaged as single doses and there are no needles involved when dosing someone with the medication. It works quickly within a few minutes, and if it doesn’t, a second dose is needed. For opioid addicts on the brink of death, Narcan has been a lifesaver as it can instantly bring someone back from non-responsiveness.
While Narcan is helpful once someone has already overdosed, the situation should never get to this point in the first place. If you suspect a loved one of being addicted to heroin or prescription pain pills, contact us around the clock for a confidential treatment assessment. We’ve guided hundreds of opioid addicts to long-term recovery through the effort of our evidence-based addiction treatment program.