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Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato Explains How Naloxone Programs Do More Than Stop Overdoses

As the opioid epidemic continues across America, more communities are providing their law enforcement officers with the drug naloxone (sold as Narcan®) to reverse overdoses. Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato of Ocean County, NJ, discussed the profound benefits he has seen as a result of the county’s naloxone program.

Transcript (slightly modified) What effect has the Narcan program had on the local police officers? Narcan has really turned out to have several advantages. Not only are we saving the life of that individual, making a difference where you’re bringing back from the light as they almost walked into the light, but more importantly it’s changed the image of who the victim is, who that individual is. It’s somebody’s son, it’s somebody’s daughter, it’s someone’s loved one, and I think the police officers now can relate better to that.

I think the other thing is that before they were just standing around being helpless. The other people would say “do something, do something,” but there was nothing that they could do. They had to wait for either the first aid squad or EMTs to show up. Now they can actively participate, and what happens is once they do participate and they bring that person back to life, to them it’s a life-changing moment. We have acknowledged that by acknowledging that police officer for completing that event and doing a tremendous job.

It’s heartwarming to the police officer, I think it’s changed the image of the police officer, and it’s also changed the image in the police officer’s eye of that individual who almost died. So the result is that there’ve been many, many different advantages to the Narcan program besides the fact that we brought somebody from the jaws of death.

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