As of December 2nd, 2016, the Ocean County becomes the first in New Jersey that benefits from a free supply of Narcan distributed in every high school. The county prosecutor, Joseph Coronato has made the decision after hearing about a drug overdose case in a neighboring county. Narcan is primarily used to reverse the overdose effects of the opioid drugs.
Earlier this week, on December 1st, the Ocean County nurses underwent an extensive training that focused on the proper administration of Narcan in overdose cases. On record, the Ocean County lost approximately 180 battles with drug overdose this year alone. This is also one of the reasons Mr. Coronato has decided that Narcan should be available free of charge in every Ocean County learning institution.
Another reason is the fact that Narcan has saved the lives of more than 400 people who overdosed on opioid drugs since the beginning of 2016. Ultimately, the police reports show that more and more young victims fall prey to drug abuse every year. According to the supervising assistant prosecutor, in charge of the juvenile cases, some individuals have been reported starting to use heroin as young as 12 years old.
When asked about the school where the overdose incident occurred, Mr. Coronato refused to name the institution, mainly not to single out any particular high school. Furthermore, he declared that he does not focus on the legal actions, but wishes to save lives and keep further incidents from happening in the future.
This year’s death count is visible higher when compared to 2015 when 118 drug addicts lost their lives due to a drug overdose. Moreover, Joseph Coronato believes that as many as 20 more victims of substance abuse in addition to the already existing 180 cases will lose their lives by the end of this year.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is frequently laced with heroin. Moreover, it is 1,000 times stronger than regular morphine. While heroin leaves the individual’s system rather quickly, the synthetic opioid, fentanyl, stays in the muscle tissues for longer periods of time. So, even after a person has been treated with Narcan, fentanyl can still cause an overdose in less than an hour. As a result, the individual needs a second dose of Narcan and close medical attention.
A package of the life-saving antidote, Narcan, costs about $73 and can be used twice. However, the prosecutor will supply every high school in the Ocean County with Narcan free of charge.
Image Source: Medscape