Narcan Used to Save Lives of Heroin Overdose Victims in New Jersey
NJ officials have reportedly used Narcan, a spray to treat drug overdoses, more than 18,000 times in the last two-and-a-half years.
Narcan, which is also known as Naloxone, is an FDA-approved spray used for the emergency treatment of an opioid overdose. New Jersey authorities determined in 2014 that the anti-overdose spray should be utilized by law enforcement agencies and health officials throughout the state. The decision to use Narcan on a widespread basis came in response to a rise in heroin overdose deaths and prescription drug overdose deaths in NJ. According to a report issued in 2015, more than 5,000 NJ residents have died as a result of heroin or prescription opioid overdoses in the past 10 years. Moreover, there are at least 128,000 New Jersey residents addicted to heroin or prescription painkillers at any given moment.
In fact, heroin abuse and prescription drug abuse have gotten so bad in recent years that federal officials with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) even went so far as to call opioid addiction a full-blown “epidemic.”
According to recent data, Narcan is used approximately 22 times per day to save the life of drug overdose victims in New Jersey. The life-saving nasal spray works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, which helps the narcotic overdose victim to quickly recover.
Of course, Narcan is not always effective. In some cases, the spray does not result in the overdose victim regaining consciousness. Nevertheless, it is clear that Narcan has saved thousands of lives in New Jersey in the past few years and will likely save thousands more going forward.
For further information, read the NJ.com article, “Narcan Used 18K Times on N.J. Overdose Victims Since 2014.”
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