Gov. Phil Murphy and Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson have announced New Jersey will offer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (commonly called Narcan) for free to residents at participating pharmacies throughout the state from Sept. 24-26.
According to a press release, as part of the Murphy Administration’s continued effort to combat the opioid crisis, New Jerseyans can visit participating pharmacies and anonymously obtain naloxone for free with no prescription and no appointment. Each naloxone pack contains two doses.
The free naloxone will be available at 322 pharmacies, including several locations of Acme, CVS, Rite Aid, Sav-On, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Walgreens, Walmart, Weis Markets and independent pharmacies.
For participating pharmacies, visit nj.gov/humanservices/stopoverdoses
This will be the Murphy Administration’s second free naloxone distribution to residents. Human Services in June 2019 oversaw a free naloxone distribution at pharmacies that led to residents receiving 32,000 doses of naloxone, according to the press release.
“The ongoing opioid epidemic continues to devastate communities across our state,” said Murphy. “By expanding access to Naloxone, New Jerseyans will have this lifesaving medication readily available to help those who may be suffering from an overdose.”
“This is all about saving lives,” Johnson said. “We are continuing to find innovative ways to combat this epidemic that has taken far too many lives. We urge everyone to visit a participating pharmacy to get a free pack of this overdose reversal drug because, quite frankly, you never know when you are going to need it to save a life.”
The naloxone will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last, according to the press release.
Naloxone can reverse overdoses from opioids by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain. Those who obtain naloxone will also be given information regarding addiction treatment and recovery, according to the press release.
Participating pharmacies have standing orders from the Department of Health for dispensing of naloxone. The distribution is a Human Services program approved by the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy.
Human Services has also distributed 53,000 free doses of naloxone to police departments, 11,352 free doses to EMS teams, 1,200 free doses to shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness and 400 free doses to libraries.
Those who pick up free naloxone will be given information regarding the state’s addiction treatment helpline, 1-844-ReachNJ, a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week addictions help line, where people facing addiction or their friends and family members can get immediate assistance and support from live, New Jersey-based, trained addiction counselors. ReachNJ assists callers regardless of their insurance status, according to the press release.