By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern
SOUTH JERSEY – Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman within the Department of Human Services is making strides to end the overdose crisis in New Jersey. Now, with the help of the StopOverdoses Website, residents find pharmacies that offer naloxone anonymously.
“Naloxone is a safe, easy to use, fast-acting and effective nasal spray medication to reverse an overdose and save someone’s life,” Commissioner Adelman said. “Making naloxone accessible and available for free and anonymously in pharmacies eliminates the most common barriers to the life-saving medication, helps reduce stigma, and ultimately may encourage people to seek treatment and long-term recovery.”
The StopOverdoses Website is part of Governor Phil Murphy’s Administration’s efforts to save lives by easing the number of overdoses in the state. Getting naloxone into the hands of every individual in New Jersey who needs it is a big part of the initiative.
“We want individuals to know that recovery is achievable and help is available. Naloxone availability is one of the many resources we have available to help individuals. It is a top priority of our ongoing work to reverse the tide of this epidemic,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who oversees the Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Naloxone is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved antagonist medication that temporarily works to reverse opioid overdose rapidly. An antagonist medication binds to opioid receptors to reverse and block the effects of certain drugs like heroin, morphine, and oxycodone.
Now, under the Naloxone365 initiative, individuals 14 and older get a hold of naloxone nasal spray without a prescription at any of the pharmacies participating in the initiative. The Department of Human Services has partnered with the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy to recruit pharmacies for the program. Thus far, 610 pharmacies are participating.
Once individuals use the naloxone nasal spray, the Department of Human Services recommend people move forwards toward treatment afterward. The Department of Human Services noted that giving people this “life-saving antidote” is what can lead people onto a pathway to recovery.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stated that since the treatment is temporary and the effects don’t last long, it is critical to obtain medical intervention as soon as possible after receiving naloxone. “Naloxone is not just an opportunity to save lives – it’s an opportunity to give more people struggling with addiction the chance to treat the effects substance use disorder has on their lives,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke.
The Department of Human Services encourages individuals seeking additional assistance to call 1-844-ReachNJ (732-2465), regardless of insurance status, when seeking an addiction helpline. People facing addiction or their friends and family can get immediate assistance and support from live, New Jersey-based, trained addiction counselors.
Click here to be taken to StopOverdoses.nj.gov.
Click here to learn more about naloxone from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Click here to learn about Governor Murphy’s previous naloxone initiative, Naloxone Direct.
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