PATERSON, NJ – Six pharmacies in Paterson will dispense Narcan, the opioid overdose reversal drug, for free from Sept. 24 to 26.

Under the state-sponsored program, residents will be able to anonymously obtain the drug with no prescription and no appointment, according to an announcement by Gov. Phil Murphy and Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson.

Statewide, free Narcan will be distributed at 322 pharmacies, including locations in Acme, CVS, Rite-Aid, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Walgreens and Walmart. 

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Locally, the program is being offered at:

  • Barnert Pharmacy, 680 Broadway, Suite 108, Paterson
  • Florida Pharmacy, 507 Broadway, Paterson
  • Icare Pharmacy, 661 Main Street, Paterson
  • Sheefa Pharmacy, 1040 Main Street, Paterson
  • Walgreens, 350 Preakness Ave, Paterson
  • Walgreens, 639 E 18th Street, Paterson

Each pack will contain two doses and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. 

Those who pick up naloxone will also receive information regarding substance abuse treatment and recovery, along with details about the state’s addiction treatment helpline, 1-844-ReachNJ. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone facing addiction, regardless of insurance status.

The upcoming program is part of the Murphy Administration’s continued effort to combat the opioid crisis and marks the second time New Jersey has offered free Narcan distribution at pharmacies. 

In June 2019, the state oversaw a program that led to residents receiving 32,000 doses of naloxone at pharmacies.

Johnson said the turnout “showed there is a strong demand for naloxone” and that the state wants to “build on last year’s event” and get the lifesaving drug into “as many hands as possible.”

The state has also distributed 53,000 free doses of Narcan to police departments, 11,352 free doses to EMS teams, 1,200 free doses to homeless shelters and 400 free doses to libraries.

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

The number of suspected overdose deaths in Passaic County peaked at 196 in 2018. The following year, the county reported at all-time high of Narcan administrations (846).

So far, this year, there have been 114 suspected overdose deaths and 491 administrations of Naloxone in Passaic County, according to NJCares.gov. Statewide, 1,834 suspected overdose deaths have been reported between Jan. 1 and July 31, along with 8,774 Narcan administrations.

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