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December 01, 2016

South Jersey county providing heroin antidote to high schools

One South Jersey county became the first in the state to arm high school nurses with an antidote for drug overdoses, county officials said.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato announced Thursday that the county will supply Narcan, a life-saving nasal spray that reverses the effects of the effects of opioids, in all county high schools.

Nurses, athletic trainers and student assistance coordinators received training on how to use the antidote and one Narcan kit that was provided by Adapt Pharma, a medical company based in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

Coronato noted that deaths due to opioid overdoses are continuing at an alarming rate. So far this year, 180 overdose deaths have been recorded by the county.

Ocean County was selected to participate in the pilot program of New Jersey's Law Enforcement Narcan Program due to its high rate of opioid-related deaths. Beginning in April 2014, all county law enforcement officers have been carrying Narcan on duty.

In April, a similar effort was implemented throughout Pennsylvania. With Governor Tom Wolf's approval, state officials rolled out a program to make Narcan available in high schools.narc