TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey will offer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (commonly called Narcan) for free to residents at participating pharmacies throughout New Jersey from Sept. 24-26, announced the NJ Department of Human Services.

New Jerseyans can visit participating pharmacies and anonymously obtain naloxone for free with no prescription and no appointment, they said. Each naloxone pack contains two doses, according to Gov. Phil Murphy and Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson.

The free naloxone will be available at ShopRite Pharmacy of Brookdale 1409 Broad St. Bloomfield NJ and ShopRite Pharmacy of Belleville 726 Washington Ave. Belleville NJ  as well as at 322 pharmacies across the state. In Nutley, Gary's Pharmacy, 349 Franklin Ave will offer naloxone.

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In June 2019, the first naloxone distribution led to distribution of 32,000 doses of naloxone, said the organization.

“The ongoing opioid epidemic continues to devastate communities across our state,” said Governor Murphy. “By expanding access to Naloxone, New Jerseyans will have this lifesaving medication readily available to help those who may be suffering from an overdose.”

 “This is all about saving lives,” Johnson said. “We’re continuing to find innovative ways to combat this epidemic that has taken far too many lives. We urge everyone to visit a participating pharmacy to get a free pack of this overdose reversal drug because, quite frankly, you never know when you’re going to need it to save a life.”

The naloxone will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last.

Naloxone can reverse overdoses from opioids by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain. Those who obtain naloxone will also be given information regarding addiction treatment and recovery. 

“Last year’s turnout showed there is a strong demand for naloxone.  New Jerseyans stood up and said they want to help and be ready to have the opportunity to save someone’s life,” Johnson said. “We want to build on last year’s event and get naloxone into as many hands as possible. We want to save lives.”

Those who pick up free naloxone will be given information regarding the state’s addiction treatment helpline, 1-844-ReachNJ, a 24-hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week addictions help line, where people facing addiction or their friends and family can get immediate assistance and support from live, New Jersey-based, trained addiction counselors. ReachNJ assists callers regardless of their insurance status.

“Giving people this live-saving antidote is an opportunity to get people on the path to recovery,” said New Jersey Department of Human Services Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who manages Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.