You've heard about Narcan's ability to avert potential heroin overdose deaths. This Monday evening in Lakewood, families coping with addiction can obtain free Narcan kits to take home.

Preferred Behavioral Health Center on Airport Road will distribute kits to the first 100 family members to arrive for "Family Night." The Ocean County Opiate Task Force oversees dispersal with cooperation from the county Prosecutor's Office, Preferred Behavioral Health, Prevention First and Dr. Raj Juneja.

Attendees will also learn how to administer the spray by watching a video and demonstration. Dr. Juneja will discuss the effects of the antidote, also known as Naloxone, and write prescriptions for families who need them.

County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato continues to expand the roster of pharmacies stocking Naloxone. The current list, and the training video, can be seen on the the Prosecutor's web page,

The Overdose Prevention Act signed by Governor Chris Christie in 2013 allows doctors to prescribe opiate antidotes to family members, friends, law enforcement personnel, coaches, teachers, counselors, medical emergency workers, and others who conceivably could intercede in an overdose situation. Those who administer Naloxone are shielded from civil and criminal liability.

Christie designated Ocean and Monmouth Counties as start points for the pilot program that is now spreading statewide. Coronato reported 10 reversals in its first month, and says that the number has now reached 52 countywide.

The funding source for the Naloxone kits in Ocean County stemmed from forfeiture funds derived from property confiscated from drug dealers.

Coronato credits Kenneth Lavelle, MD, with training police and emergency medical technicians and with developing the training now given to first-responders throughout New Jersey. Lavelle serves as medical director for the Ocean County Law Enforcement Naloxone Program.