By: Shannon Persad
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New Jersey Expands Efforts to Combat Opioid Epidemic
The New Jersey Department of Health has issued various amounts of initiatives to combat the overdose epidemic in the state.
According to the Acting Health Commissioner Judith M. Perischilli, eight lives are lost every day to an overdose in New Jersey. The department believes linking several programs and people together, such as harm reduction centers, healthcare providers, and local health officials—the ongoing initiative can save lives.
NJ Initiatives to Fight Opioid Overdose Deaths
NJ’s Department of Health will expand its “5 Minutes to Help” training course for EMS staff to improve care and connection for non-fatal overdose victims. A new course will be launched to increase education and awareness to staff, and hold personal training this year. This is important as EMS is on the front-lines of those suffering from an overdose. About 10,000 naloxone was administered in 2019.
Also, increasing access to naloxone will be a part of the Department’s initiative. The Naloxone Standing Orders by the Department is still in play, which allows pharmacists to dispense naloxone (Narcan) without a prescription.
The press release by the NJ Health Department also states:
“To reduce dependence on opioids, the Department is working with hospital care providers to decrease opioid prescribing to treat chronic pain in emergency departments. Through the Opioid Reduction Option (ORO) program, 11 hospitals have enrolled in training. St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, which serves as a Gold Technical Partner, is sharing its best practices that have received national recognition in reducing opioid prescriptions in their emergency department. In 2019, 165 emergency department personnel were trained. This year, the Department, and its partner, the New Jersey Hospital Association, will hold another round of training to engage more hospitals in this effort. The goal of the ORO program is to ultimately reduce overall opioid prescribing in NJ’s emergency departments to 12 percent or less.”
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid addiction in New Jersey, seek professional help now. Call ATSI Rehab for a confidential consultation at 1-855-498-2121.