New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced Thursday that they would be sending 11,352 doses of the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone to EMS teams across the state.
The drug will be provided free to nearly 180 EMS teams, Johnson said.
“The opioid epidemic continues to take far too many of our friends and neighbors,” Johnson said. “We’ve previously made naloxone available at no cost to residents, police departments, libraries, and homeless shelters, and making it available for free to EMS teams is a sensible next step. We are committed to making naloxone as readily available as possible to as many people as possible – to save as many lives as possible.”
The distribution effort is part of an expanded effort to increase access to naloxone to combat the opioid epidemic. Other efforts include ensuring naloxone is covered in the pharmaceutical assistance to the aged and disabled program, a state program managed by Human Services that helps elderly resident and individuals with disabilities save money on prescription drugs; distributing another 86,000 free naloxone doses to residents, police departments, libraries, homeless shelters, and pharmacists.
“New Jersey continues to battle the overdose epidemic which is being compounded by the current COVID-19 health emergency,” Persichilli said. “New Jersey EMS clinicians have been responding to an increase in overdoses in the state, and we want to ensure they have tools they need to care for patients.”