TRENTON, N.J. (PIX11) — As New Jersey wages war against the opioid crisis, fighting overdose deaths has become a primary mission.
“Last year was the first year that we saw a slight reduction in the number of individuals who are dying by overdose,” said Valerie Mielkie, assistant commissioner for the NJ Department of Human Service’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, “but we want to continue to drive that number down.”
Officials say they will try to do that with the help of a new tool: StopOverdoses.NJ.gov.
It shows you a list of more than 600 pharmacies across the Garden State where you can get free overdose-reversing drug naloxone – more commonly known as Narcan.
It is part of Governor Phil Murphy’s Naloxone365 program. First launched in January, it allows anyone 14 or older to walk into a participating pharmacy and take home the drug – no questions asked. Now, seeing which pharmacies are participating in the program is easier than ever.
“It really is important to make sure that naloxone is in the hands of everyone,” said Mielke. “This is a great way to get naloxone in the hands of individuals who themselves may have an addiction to opioids, and/or has a loved one who has an addiction who may experience an overdose.”
Mielke says more pharmacies are expected to join the program. On the website, you can type in the name of your town, county, or the last 4 digits of your zip code to find naloxone near you.
“The first and most important thing is you need to save a life,” said Mielke.