HAMILTON, NJ -- On Tuesday pharmacies across New Jersey, including five in Hamilton Township, will provide free dosages of an anti-drug overdose reversal medication as part of Governor Phil Murphy's efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, can reverse an opioid overdose by blocking the effects of opioid drugs on the brain.
Individuals can receive a dose at participating pharmacies without an appointment or prescription. Each individual will be provided with one free dosage of naloxone and information regarding addiction treatment and recovery. Naloxone will be distributed one dose per person on a first-come, first-served basis as part of a pilot program approved by the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy.
“The scourge of opioids continues to devastate families and communities across our state, and we must do everything we can to end the opioid epidemic,” said Murphy. “Through this initiative, people who are battling with addiction will be able to receive access to this critical medication and help them get on a path to recovery.”
Participating pharmacies located in Hamilton are: Alexander's Twin Pharmacy (1060 Whitehouse-Mercerville Rd.), ShopRite Pharmacy of Hamilton Square (1225 Route 33, Hamilton Plaza), Rite Aid (1801 Kuser Rd.), Walgreens (1096 Route33), and Walmart (700 Marketplace Blvd.)
Kevin Meara, chairman of the Board of Trustees for The City of Angels based in Hamilton which helps individuals conquer addiction and provides recovery support services, called opioid overdose the largest public health crisis facing communities.
"With the introduction of Fentanyl, there's been a sharp increase in opioid overdose deaths because of the combination of kids experimenting and doctors overprescribing," said Meara. "Opioids can be an equal offender that doesn't care how rich you are or the color of your skin and it's deadly."
Meara noted that reports show that approximately 90 percent of the world's opioids are used in the United States. Meanwhile, he said that an estimated 70 percent of prescription drugs are not taken by the intended user.
"Making naloxone as readily available as a first aid kit means there an opportunity to save someone's life," Meara added. "This program helps to raise public awareness and the more we can education the public the better."
“With more than 3,000 overdose deaths in New Jersey last year, the Murphy Administration is taking action to empower residents to help prevent overdoses,” said New Jersey Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “We are making the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone available for free on June 18 to help New Jerseyans have the tools they need to support their friends and loved ones and to give us every opportunity to save lives and connect people with opioid addiction to treatment.”
“Naloxone is a critical component in our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and save lives. Last year in New Jersey, first responders administered the drug more than 16,000 times, preventing thousands of deaths,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “By participating in the Murphy Administration’s pilot program to provide naloxone free of charge, New Jersey pharmacies are not only expanding access to this life-saving drug, they’re reinforcing their role as vital allies in the battle to end New Jersey’s opioid crisis.”
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