Narcan driving down overdose deaths in NJ

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 Police officers in Camden County are now issued a manila envelope with the drug Narcan at the beginning of their shifts. Officers also receive nasal sprayers to administer the drug and rubber gloves. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Police officers in Camden County are now issued a manila envelope with the drug Narcan at the beginning of their shifts. Officers also receive nasal sprayers to administer the drug and rubber gloves. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

For the first time in years, overdose deaths are down in the state of New Jersey. 

Acting New Jersey State Attorney General John Hoffman says 2014 was a turning point.”After a three years of growing overdose deaths climbed significantly each year, finally they declined by 13 percent in 2014,” he said. “Obviously there is still a very serious problem out there.”Hoffman says while heroin and opioid drug abuse is not declining, giving police officers Narcan has been a big help in prevent overdose deaths.”Equipping law enforcement officers at every level including the New Jersey State police with a live saving dose of this antidote,” said Hoffman.  “Simply put, there are still too many lives being lost to overdoses.”Pennsylvania police have not been equipped with Narcan as long as New Jersey officers have, so it will likely take longer before statewide numbers show similar progress on that side of the Delaware. 

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