Giving families an opportunity to carry the heroin antidote Narcan, which reverses the drug's effects, is a good idea says Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato (Photo by Tom Mongelli, Townsquare Media)

Coronato responded to recent reports that a Lacey family will be offering free training to Township residents on how to administer Narcan. "If one out of ten people, or one out of 20 people get it, that's one life that we've saved."

Allowing families to carry Narcan has raised some concerns about it getting into the hands of heroin addicts who could potentially use the antidote as a bail-out to continue abusing the drug. Coronato said he is hopeful if Narcan is used to revive a person, one time will be enough to make them get professional help. "When death is knocking on the door, sort of speak, you would hope that that point in time that would be a moment in their life that they'll say, you know what? This is an opportunity. I can't keep doing this," Coronato said.

(Caption: Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ)

Narcan is not an over-the-counter drug and requires doctor authorization to get, which according to Coronato, is another issue that needs to be developed. "I would hope at some point the federal government will make it so that it can be over-the-counter or that there would be an open prescription that would allow people to be able to get it because of the fact that it does save a life." Coronato said Narcan has been available for many years and doesn't seem to have any side effects. He added, the next evolution of Narcan will be to see how it should be regulated.

As far as there being a black market for Narcan, Coronato said he isn't really sure but noted it could become a possibility. "There's 17 other states that are using Narcan and that has not developed in some of the other states, but who knows, maybe that will develop." He said the program is all about one thing, "And that is saving somebody's life and to me that's worth it."