Easy Access to Narcan in New Jersey Will Save Lives

It has been over two years since Governor Christie signed the Overdose Prevention Act into law. Since that time many lives have been saved thanks to new and innovative efforts to get the message out about the opiate overdose antidote Narcan and calling 911. Grants have been awarded recently to educate individuals at risk for an opioid overdose, their families, friends and loved ones. Everyone will be able to recognize an overdose and provide life-saving rescue measures to reverse these deadly effects. When a person overdoses on an opiate it only takes minutes for an oxygen-starved brain to die. In an effort to save more people from dying, this week the pharmacy chain CVS announced that Narcan is available over-the-counter in New Jersey and 12 other states, including Pennsylvania.

Each year more than 44,000 people die from accidental drug overdoses in the United States. Most of these deaths are opioid related. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the rate of heroin overdose deaths have nearly tripled since 2010. In New Jersey deaths for opioid overdose are triple the national rate.

Easier access to Narcan for New Jersey is the right thing to do. It will save lives impacted by this epidemic ravaging our state.

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