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Human Services Distributes Over 24,000 Naloxone Doses to Law Enforcement

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By Press Release

TRENTON – Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman Aug. 3 announced the department, in cooperation with the Attorney General’s Office, has distributed more than 24,000 doses of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone to 271 law enforcement agencies across New Jersey.
According to a Department of Human Services release, in total, 12,153 two-dose naloxone kits were given to law enforcement agencies at no cost to them.
The distribution builds on the Murphy administration’s effort to make naloxone accessible. As part of that effort, Human Services has given 64,000 free doses to residents at pharmacies and previously distributed 70,000 free doses to police, emergency medical services (EMS), homeless shelters, libraries and reentry organizations.
“Quite simply, naloxone saves lives,” Adelman stated. “We are building on our efforts to get this life-saving antidote into as many hands as possible to save lives and connect individuals to recovery support. Giving first responders a tool they need to save lives is yet another step in our work to combat this epidemic.”
“Every minute counts, when it comes to opioid overdoses,” Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck stated. “The sooner an antidote can be administered, the more likely it is that we can save a life. Because law enforcement officers are often the first on the scene of an overdose, it’s critical that they carry overdose reversal drugs. We’re thankful to our partners at the Department of Human Services for working with us to put so many doses of naloxone in the hands of our first responders in law enforcement.”
When a law enforcement officer utilizes naloxone on an individual, various steps are taken to assist the individual. In Bergen County, for instance, officers contact a recovery coach, while some municipalities have partnerships with hospitals or treatment providers to connect individuals with assistance.
Typically, EMS is either en route or on scene and, after naloxone administration, monitors individuals for symptoms such as an altered mental status and health issues, such as respiratory and circulation concerns. Individuals are often transferred to a hospital for further care.
Law enforcement agencies also must report a naloxone administration to the New Jersey State Police, allowing more opportunity for outreach and support.
“Naloxone is a first line of defense against an opioid overdose,” stated Human Services Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who directs Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “As such, we want to ensure that the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone is readily available to as many people as possible. Our goal is to save lives.”
Gov. Phil Murphy also recently signed a comprehensive legislative package into law to address the state’s opioid crisis through overdose prevention and recovery resilience. The bills, among other things, expand low-barrier access to naloxone and medication-assisted treatment.
As always, Human Services urges residents needing addiction assistance to call the state’s addiction treatment helpline, 1-844-ReachNJ, a 24-hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week addictions helpline, where people facing addiction or their friends and family can get immediate assistance and support from live, New Jersey-based trained addiction counselors.
ReachNJ assists callers regardless of their insurance status.
“We want to put people on the path to recovery,” Adelman stated. “Treatment works, and recovery is attainable, so please don’t hesitate to call.”

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