PATERSON, NJ - The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office has announced through a series of media releases this past week that nine people in total in Paterson were revived using the anti-opiate drug Naxolone. The most recent save brings the county's total to 50 so far in 2017.
Naxolone is an anti-opiate drug that is administered through the nostrils of an unresponsive victim that may be experiencing an overdose. The drug works to counteract the opiates and revive the victim, which sometimes makes people refer to it as a "rescue shot."
In last week's cases six of the victims were young adults under 26 years old, and three of the cases involved those where were homeless, according to police. Critics renewed their claims that Naxolone has created a safety net for users, and that a city like Paterson that is strapped for resources cannot afford to provide the drug.
In an interview with Mic.com Dr. Lewis Nelson, a professor of emergency medicine and toxicology at New York University Langone Medical Center, said that some users will experience an intense withdraw after being administered Naloxone which makes some users take additional opiates. He warned that if you end up taking extra opioids to overcome the naloxone, you could end up resedating. "If you're not in the hospital, you're going to die," Nelson said.
Since 1996 The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 26,000 overdoses have been reversed. Passaic County Law Enforcement officers have been trained in administering the drug since 2014.