New program gives Harm Reduction and Recovery Kits to those who overdosed and have used Naloxone
(Woodbury, NJ)—Gloucester County Freeholders Deputy Director Frank J. DiMarco, Jim Jefferson, Liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services, and Freeholder Dan Christy, Liaison to Gloucester County Emergency Medical Services (GCEMS) announced today that they are working to provide more resources to those who have overdosed and used Naloxone (NarCan). Today Gloucester County distributed 300 Harm Reduction and Recovery Kits, 100 each to GCEMS, Jefferson and Inspira's emergency rooms.
Freeholder Deputy Director DiMarco said, "Often times if a person suffers and opioid-related overdose and is revived with Naloxone there is no follow up medical treatment that occurs. This initiative is designed to provide opioid users and their families with educational information and resource materials surrounding overdose recognition, prevention and treatment options."
Freeholder Jim Jefferson, said that the Gloucester County Division of Human and Disability Services' Drug and Addictions Unit has joined with Gloucester County’s Emergency Responders, both GCEMS and area emergency rooms to provide those who have overdosed and have been treated with Naloxone (NarCan) with educational and resource materials.
"We are going a step further than providing NarCan, we want to provide care," said Jefferson. “A registered nurse from the Gloucester County Department of Health will follow-up with the individual or family receiving the kit within a 90-day window to establish their progress and help provide further support and make linkages to service supports available to them.”
Jefferson said, ““It’s not only our desire to save lives, but a way to provide compassionate care and support in the hope that anyone suffering from addiction will seek and accept the treatment options available to them.”
Freeholder Dan Christy said that in 2018 GCEMS was dispatched to more than 300 suspected overdose patients and provided 136 doses of NarCan.
Christy said, “The number of NarCan doses GCEMS administered does not include the patients that received NarCan from family members, bystanders or law enforcement. That number is much greater, but we can start by giving GCEMS and our local emergency rooms these Harm Reduction and Recovery Kits so that when those who have overdosed are ready for treatment they have the information on how to get help.”
The Harm Reduction and Recovery Kits that will be provided, will include Naloxone (generic NarCan) nasal spray packs to eligible individuals and/or their families, in the event that a future overdose incident arises. Resource materials to connect individuals with addiction with help will be included in the kit as well, and there will be a follow up component through the hospitals and the Gloucester County Health Department to offer support and to encourage treatment.
Additional resources surrounding addictions can be found at http://www.gloucestercountynj.gov/depts/d/divdied/addserv.asp or by calling (856) 384 – 6929.
Pictured: Freeholder Dan Christy, Freeholder Deputy Director Frank J. DiMarco, Dr. James Baird, Assistant Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at Jefferson Washington Township, Freeholder Jim Jefferson, Dr. Thomas Love, Assistant Medical Director for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Inspira Woodbury, and GCEMS Chief Andy Lovell.