New Jersey’s Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the state is sending 11,352 free doses of the opioid-overdose antidote naloxone to 179 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) teams throughout the Garden State.
“The opioid epidemic continues to take far too many of our friends and neighbors,” Commissioner Johnson said. “We’ve previously made naloxone available at no cost to residents, police departments, libraries and homeless shelters, and making it available for free to EMS teams is a sensible next step. We are committed to making naloxone as readily available as possible to as many people as possible — to save as many lives as possible.”
- One Paramedic’s Perspective on Civilian Naloxone Distribution
- Providing Comprehensive Prehospital Care to Overdose Patients in the Midst of a Public Health Crisis
- Fix Narcotic Abuse Cycle Before Throwing Naloxone at Every Overdose Patient
“New Jersey continues to battle the overdose epidemic which is being compounded by the current COVID-19 health emergency,” said Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli. “New Jersey EMS clinicians have been responding to an increase in overdoses in the state and we want to ensure they have tools they need to care for patients.”
The Commissioners recently sent a letter to all New Jersey EMS agencies asking if they wanted to participate in this initiative to provide naloxone at no cost. Naloxone reverses overdoses from opioids by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain, and it’s being distributed proportionally based on the number of agency administrations last year.
“EMS teams are on the frontline of this epidemic,” Commissioner Johnson said. “This is another tool in our effort to save lives.”