TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Department of Human Services will be delivering naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug, for free to participating shelters serving the homeless, Commissioner Carole Johnson announced Tuesday.

The shelter initiative is part of ongoing efforts to get naloxone, known more commonly under brand name Narcan, into as many hands as possible to help save lives, the department said.

Approximately 1,200 doses of the medication in its nasal spray form are being sent to shelters across the state, including the following in Newark: Circle of Life and Apostle’s House. Two other shelters in Essex County, Real House and Real House II will also receive the drug. 

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The action comes on the heels of the department’s June 18 giveaway of 32,000 doses of naloxone at 174 participating New Jersey pharmacies that could be obtained without an individual prescription. It was considered the largest one-day free distribution in the country.

“Our goal is to save lives. We are doing everything we can to give this life-saving antidote to as many people as possible,” Johnson said. “We need all the help we can get in fighting this deadly epidemic. New Jerseyans responded in overwhelming numbers to the June naloxone giveaway, sending a message that, when given the chance, they want to save lives. This is another opportunity to help turn the tide of the opioid epidemic.”

Currently, there are 36 shelters throughout the state participating in the distribution. The naloxone delivered is free and does not require an individual prescription. The department expects more participants as the program continues.

“We are grateful to the participating shelters for their willingness to play such a vital role in this fight,” said Valerie Mielke, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services Assistant Commissioner. “They are on the front lines, so we can certainly use their help.”

Additional participating shelters in other parts of New Jersey are:

Atlantic County

  • Atlantic City Rescue Mission

Bergen County

  • Bergen County Family Shelter
  • Center for Hope and Safety
  • Community Action Program Adult Center

Burlington County

  • Providence House – Catholic Charities
  • Belmont Homes

Cumberland County

  • Cumberland County Women’s Center (Center for Family Services)

Essex County

  • Real House I
  • Real House II
  • Circle of Life
  • Apostle’s House

Gloucester County

  • Center for Family Services (Mother/Child Residential SERV CFS)
  • SERV Gloucester County Women’s Services
  • Eleanor Corbett House

Mercer County

  • Trenton Treatment/UPI
  • Rescue Mission of Trenton
  • Amani House

Middlesex County

  • Ozanam Men’s Shelter
  • Ozanam Family Shelter (Catholic Charities)

Monmouth County

  • Monmouth Adult Shelter - Affordable Housing Alliance
  • 180 Turning Lives Around

Morris County

  • Homeless Solutions

Ocean County

  • Providence House – Catholic Charities

Passaic County

  • St. Peter’s Haven
  • St. Paul’s Community Center

Salem County

  • Salem County’s Women’s Services

Somerset County

  • Safe and Sound
  • Agape House

Sussex County

  • Interfaith Hospitality Network (Family Promise)
  • Domestic Abuse Services Inc.

Union County

  • Interfaith Hospitality Network (Family Promise)

Warren County

  • Domestic Abuse and Rape Crisis Center
  • Interfaith Hospitality Network (Family Promise)