The Next Step in the Narcan Program

2015 is already a month old and it is truly wonderful to see all the positive steps in our state regarding the prescription drug and heroin abuse. 2014 saw major steps forward in the combating of the issue of prescription drug and heroin abuse. In addition to our series of Do No Harm symposiums that opened up dialogue between law enforcement, the prevention and treatment fields, the medical community, and faith-based community, we also saw the institution of Narcan as a lifesaving tool across the state.

Narcan has been responsible for saving the lives of thousands of people throughout New Jersey, but Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato recognizes that this merely the first step in ending the opiate abuse issue in this state. Ocean County was one of the pilot counties for the Narcan and it was met with great success. Since the institution of the program, Narcan has saved over 120 lives in the county alone. But for Prosecutor Coronato, 2015 is the year where we continue to move forward.

According to an article in the Ocean Star, the Ocean County’s Prosecutor’s Office is looking to build partnerships in local hospitals and rehabilitation facilities to help those who are treated with Narcan. That way, people who are suffering from this addiction can get the help they need should they ever need to be revived with Narcan. The Prosecutor’s Office says in the article that the process to get all these options in place may take up to 10 months to build the partnerships, but as the prosecutor says himself: his office is moving in the right direction.

The Partnership applauds this initiative by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. While the Narcan has done a lot to save the lives of our loved ones, it doesn't offer them the resources they need to battle their addiction. This new program being piloted in Ocean County is another immense step forward in the fight against opiate abuse. However, it is important to mention that parental involvement and frequent discussions with your children are also keys to keeping your child away from drugs. The last two years have seen a drastic rise in opiate overdoses, but it has also seen an increase in awareness and availability of information. We implore all parents and families to continue to educate themselves about this issue as we move forward into another year.

We have made great strides with our partners in all facets of the issue, but as Prosecutor Coronato says himself: “We have a long way to go.”

Comments

Andrea Cortese
Posted 2/11/2015 11:01 AM

Thank you for this encouraging news. A "global" cultural and social comprenhensive response is needed in this fight which is taking the lives of thousands of our young people. Everyone must get on board. People from all fields; political, medical, nursing, social/community healthl, media, TV & entertainment must join forces to get the message out - it's not cool to get wasted!!!. If you're having a problem, talk to someone and get help. Education alone is not enough. All counties in NJ should be doing this as well as across the nation. Thank you.

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