Deaths from heroin overdoses are on the rise in New Jersey. At a fire station in Brick Township officials announced a pilot program in Ocean and Monmouth Counties that will equip police vehicles with the life-saving antidote Narcan.
West Long Branch Police Chief Larry Mihlon says his 22-year-old son overdosed on heroin at his home last year. After reviving him with CPR he says paramedics gave him Narcan.
“And if you’ve ever seen Narcan work, it happens just like that. So here’s somebody who was dead on the floor five minutes ago, sits bolt upright in the ambulance and says ‘I’ve got to quit’.
Mihlon says his son went to a treatment program and is doing fine now.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joe Coronato says that being able to administer the antidote will be a big help.
“Unfortunately in Ocean County we had 112 overdose deaths last year. In 2012 we had 53. So you can see it more than doubled. We believe that this program as it’s being turned out will save somebody’s life, and how wonderful is that?”
In the first year of the pilot program the $50 dollar cost for each Narcan kit is being funded with forfeiture money taken from criminals.
If the Narcan program is a success, Governor Christie says he expects it will go statewide.