As many know, addiction is a brutal disease that is a part of every single family in one way or another. A close family member of mine is battling addiction and it has been difficult for my entire family. There is no doubt that we have a big problem in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

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About a year ago, I first remember this family member telling me about Narcan. It actually saved the life of a man he was living with. This person overdosed on heroin and my family member called 911 immediately. The police arrived first and administered the drug that kept the person who had overdosed alive long enough for him to get to the hospital for medical attention.

Most law officials in Monmouth and Ocean counties carry Narcan on them at all times. Narcan is a medication used to counter the effects of opioid especially in overdose. It will usually reverse the depression of the central nervous system, respiratory system, and hypotension. It is often included as a part of emergency overdose response kits distributed to heroin and other opioid drug users, and this has been shown to reduce rates of deaths due to overdose.

The proof of Narcan's effectiveness is in the numbers. Here are the number of saves in Monmouth and Ocean counties thanks to Narcan in 2014.

  • Middletown 17
  • Brick 17
  • Toms River 17
  • Lacey 12
  • Seaside Heights 11
  • Keansburg 10
  • Berkeley 9
  • Belmar 7
  • Asbury Park 7
  • Howell 6