Burlington County plans to distribute more than 600 kits of naloxone overdose antidote to individuals and families as part of continuing efforts to combat the opioid and substance use disorder epidemic.
A total of 624 kits of naloxone were delivered to the county on March 18 by the New Jersey Department of Human Services and will be distributed throughout the county by the Burlington County Hope One mobile outreach unit, according to information provided by county commissioners.
Each kit contains two doses of the overdose reversal drug and will be distributed free of charge to adult residents who request one and receive training.
Hope One is a program run by the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the Burlington County Human Services Department and Burlington County Health Department and Virtua and Maryville and Deborah staff. The unit regularly goes into county communities to help link residents with recovery specialists and treatment facilities. The unit also trains people on how to administer overdose antidote, known as Narcan, according to the statement.
“Each one of these kits is a potential life saved from an early death, so we’re incredibly grateful the State of New Jersey has acquired them for us to distribute,” Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson said in the statement. “Long before COVID-19, the addiction epidemic was claiming unbearable numbers of lives, and it still is. The victims are our friends, our neighbors and our loved ones. We must do everything in our power to save those we can and help get them the support they need to recover.”
According to NJ CARES data, naloxone was administered by police and first responders in Burlington County 773 times in 2020. That same year, a total of 164 people died in the county from suspected overdoses, according to the statement.
“Distributing naloxone to police, first responders and the public is a critical strategy in the addiction battle that’s proven to save lives,” Burlington County Sheriff Anthony Basantis said in the statement. “Since Hope One’s inception in the Fall of 2019, we have distributed 240 Narcan kits. Receiving 624 from the State of New Jersey is a huge plus and will absolutely enable us to reach more communities and get more kits into the hands of people who might need them.”
Burlington County’s supply of naloxone kits is part of a statewide effort to make overdose antidote is more readily available. Across New Jersey, the Department of Human Services is distributing more than 13,000 doses to county outreach programs. Another 64,000 doses are being distributed to residents at pharmacies and 74,000 doses are going to police, EMS, homeless shelters, libraries and reentry organizations, according to the statement.
“Naloxone saves lives,” Acting New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman said in the statement. “With this distribution, we’re continuing our effort to get this lifesaving antidote into as many hands as possible and to connect them to services that that promote recovery and are a great resource in the work to combat this opioid epidemic that has taken far too many lives.”
For more information, including the scheduled locations where the Hope One vehicle will travel, follow Burlington County Sheriff’s Department Hope One of Burlington on Facebook or download the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department’s free app at https://apps.myovc.com/share/a53408060 .