In May, 2013 Governor Chris Christie signed into law, PL 2013 c.43, the Overdose Prevention Act. This law permits a physician to prescribe an opiate antidote to anyone that may “be in position to assist another individual during an overdose” of opioids. (heroin, oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, etc.). While the initial intent was to be able to supply this antidote to families and friends, the law also permits this antidote to be prescribed to others in public safety that may encounter an overdosed individual, such as law enforcement officers, security personnel, teachers, coaches, counselors, and other first responders. A specific aspect of the law is that it eliminates civil and criminal liability for anyone who administers the antidote known as Narcan. This medication can be delivered intra-nasally, not unlike any nasal spray. It is completely safe and often effective. When administered, it can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose and possibly save the person’s life.
Thanks to the efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, working with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Health, Ocean County is the pilot program for roll out of the Law Enforcement Narcan Program for the State of New Jersey. Commencing April, 2014, law enforcement agencies in Ocean County have been equipped with the Narcan Kit containing the opiate antidote Naloxone. Narcan Kits have been paid for by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office forfeiture fund and given to local police. The money for the purchase of these kits has come from confiscated property from drug dealers so no tax dollars have been used for this program. In the first month of the program, 10 reversals have been reported to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office acknowledges and thanks Kenneth Lavelle, MD, who is the medical director for the Ocean County Law Enforcement Narcan Program. Dr. Lavelle has trained law enforcement and EMS personnel in Ocean County and has greatly assisted in developing the training that is now being given state-wide to first responders.
This Law Enforcement Narcan Program is only one of many efforts made by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey to reverse the alarming trend of opiate abuse in Ocean County. Significant efforts have been directed towards the enforcement of existing drug laws, the education of our youth, and increasing the public’s awareness of the need for more rehabilitation facilities and changes to the existing drug laws.
There have been 40 Narcan Reversals, to date, reported to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office
Narcan (Naloxone) is available to the public with a prescription at the below listed Ocean County Pharmacies:
Community Surgical and Pharmacy, Toms River, NJ
Medicine To Go Pharmacies, Lakewood, NJ
Medicine To Go Pharmacies, Forked River, NJ
Kapler’s Pharmacy, Beach Haven, NJ
Medicine Solutions Pharmacy, Manahawkin, NJ
Law Enforcement Forms
Since OCPO’s April 2014 introduction of Narcan to New Jersey there have been tremendous improvements to the products availability and delivery system. This video provides those product highlights and concise instructions for use. Click here to watch!