Posted Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announced today that during 2015 Morris County Law Enforcement agencies collectively saved 42 people from succumbing to a fatal opiate overdoses through the administration of Narcan® (Naloxone), an agent that counters the effects of narcotics.
Naloxone displaces opioids from receptors in the brain that control the central nervous system and respiratory system. An aerosol form of naloxone, Narcan is administered nasally through use of a syringe-atomizer.
In the summer of 2014, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office formally launched a Nasal Narcan (Naloxone) program in Morris County that trained and equipped Morris County police officers to administer Narcan to persons suffering from an overdose of heroin or prescription opiates.
The Morris County Narcan Program is a partnership between the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, participating municipal police departments and Atlantic Ambulance Corporation. The Prosecutor’s Office arranged with Atlantic Ambulance Corporation to provide training and medical oversight to Morris County municipal police departments that opt to participate in the program. Today there are a total of 27 police departments in Morris County that equip their police Officers with Narcan.
Unfortunately, police officers in Morris County are encountering significant numbers of overdoses from opiates in the form of heroin, morphine, methadone, codeine, oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet® and Percodan®) and hydrocodone (Vicodin®). This epidemic is being experienced throughout the state.
Tragically, at least 37 individuals died in Morris County during 2015 from an opiate overdose.
However, in 2015 Narcan was administered by first responding police officers a total of 48 times and is credited with 42 “saves,” which represents recovery from a potentially fatal overdose.
The following Morris County Police Departments had officers provide a lifesaving dose of Narcan during 2015:
Boonton: One save occurring on 10/19/15.
Boonton Township: Two saves occurring on 7/6/15 and 7/16/15.
Butler: One save occurring on 7/28/15.
Denville: One save occurring on 10/2/15.
Florham Park: One save occurring on 9/2/15.
Hanover Township: One save occurring on 6/28/15.
Jefferson: One save occurring on 7/30/15.
Lincoln Park: Two saves occurring on 3/19/15 and 5/12/15.
Madison: One save occurring on 10/21/15.
Montville: Four saves occurring on 4/21/15, 6/26/15, 8/03/15, and 8/29/15.
Morris Township: One save occurring on 6/3/15.
Morristown: Three saves occurring on 6/11/15, 9/2/15 and 11/25/15.
Netcong: One save occurring on 10/31/15.
Pequannock: Two saves occurring on 4/10/15 and 11/17/15.
Randolph: Four saves occurring on 1/1/15, 5/24/15, 12/7/15, and 9/3/15
Rockaway Township: Six saves occurring on 6/2/15, *8/22/15 (two saves occurred on 8/22/2015), 8/28/15, 9/13/15 and 9/1/15.
Washington Township: Two saves occurring on 9/9/15 and 10/25/15.
Wharton: Eight saves occurring on 2/2/15, 2/28/15, 5/10/15, 5/20/15, 5/23/15, 6/24/15, 8/10/15, and 12/5/15.
“The State of New Jersey is plagued by addictive heroin and other opiates,” said Prosecutor Knapp. “Morris County is not immune from this epidemic. Law Enforcement is taking a dynamic approach when dealing with these addictive poisons.
“Equipping our first responding police officers with Narcan is a critical and compassionate approach to the opiate epidemic. In 2015 there were 42 instances in which police officers valiantly gave someone suffering from an opiate addiction a second chance to seek treatment.
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to work together with local law enforcement and the community to fight against this opiate epidemic. We greatly appreciate the support of Atlantic Health System in this continuing battle.”
Knapp thanked all the police officers that saved a life using Narcan in 2015, as well as the Atlantic Ambulance Corporation and, specifically their education coordinator, Rory McGuinness, for contributing to the Morris County Narcan Program’s success.
Any inquiries can be directed to Deputy Chief Denise H. Arseneault at 973-285-6262 or [email protected].