Narcan saving lives in Ocean County

If there any doubters out there that Narcan is a vital lifesaving tool for our first responders in ending the opioid epidemic gripping our state, then please consider this recent article from ABC 7.

Thanks to Ocean and Monmouth Countys’ new pilot program, allowing for police officers and EMS personnel to carry Narcan, an antidote designed to reverse the effects of heroin overdose, 6 lives have already been saved this year. And 5 of those over a 48 hour period. I don’t think I’m alone when I say how happy it makes me to know that these 6 people have a second chance at life to get help and beat their addiction. Also, thanks to last year’s overdose prevention act, those who called law enforcement to report the overdose will not face charges.

                                          Naloxone HCl, or as it is more commonly known: Narcan. Image credit:

I have heard many say that the institution of Narcan sends the wrong message to people; that it gives opioid abusers a safety net in case they overdose to be revived and continue abusing. I could not disagree more with this sentiment. Ocean County saw a staggering 112 overdose deaths last year and New Jersey as a whole lost two residents everyday to this affliction. Many of these people never had a chance to get better. Many kept their addiction hidden from their loved ones, leaving them completely blindsided when tragedy struck. Last December when I appeared on Geraldo at Large, the young woman who appeared with me, Angela Cicchino, told Geraldo that her parents had no idea about her addiction. That is, until she was arrested.

It would be wonderful to live in a world, where there is no substance abuse. Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in right now. A lot of numbers on this issue get thrown around, but it is important to remember that each number we see actually represents a child, a brother, sister, mother, father, or loved one. Narcan represents a second chance for New Jerseyians addicted to opioids and their families. It gives them the impetus to get help and beat their addiction. There were over 600 overdose deaths in New Jersey last year, but with the implementation of Narcan for our first responders, we hope to see that number drastically decrease.

If you still doubt the importance of this initiative, ask yourself: if it was your child, would you want that second chance?



The 10th Annual New Jersey Shout Down Drugs Prevention concert is next Wednesday, May 21 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark. Tickets are free of charge and voting for the 2014 winner is currently underway! Visit for more information.

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