Ocean County’s Prosecutor Reacts to the Statewide Narcan Program
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato is pleased a successful pilot program that allowed local police to administer opiate antidote Narcan for two months is going statewide.Listen to a conversation with Joseph Coronato
When asked, Coronato said he isn't surprised at all. He said he was very hopeful that the pilot program could help halt the alarming overdose death rate in Ocean County which had exceeded the triple digits in 2013. He said he knew it was their best chance to make an impact quickly.
"I'm am very very fortunate that all the local police departments were engaged, that they were willing to participate, and the proof is in the fact that as of this date, we have reversals or saves of 41 people within Ocean County."
In April, Governor Chris Christie announced that local police officers in Ocean and Monmouth Counties were being trained to administer the nasal spray that reverses the effects of a heroin drug overdose as part of a pilot program.
"I'm now thrilled as a result of what we did here in Ocean County, that now the rest of the state is going to copy our procedures and our policies and put into effect what we've been able to do here during the last two months here in Ocean County, so I'm very heartened by that," Coronato said.
Ocean County officials also learned a few things during the pilot program ... like the need to equip Narcan Kits with two doses of the nasal spray.
"Whee we first put our kits out together, we only had one dosage in the kit. Now we're looking to carry two dosages in each kit. We found out that some people need to be hit twice to bring em [sic] back."
He said the next phase is to make sure private individuals can get access to Narcan and they've placed a list of pharmacy providers on their web site.
However, Coronato said the ideal success of the Narcan program will be proven over time.That's when an individual who is revived, is convinced to go from the Emergency Room to a long term rehabilitation facility for treatment, Coronato said.
On Tuesday, January 17th, Governor Christie announced that the Narcan Program was being expanded to included every county in the state of New Jersey.