Overdose, Narcan, repeat. Camden County hopes to stop the pattern
When someone overdoses on heroin or other opiates, an injection of the antidote known as Narcan can reverse the drug’s effects and save a victim’s life. But what happens next for that addict?
Many times, they’re released from medical care and jump right back into the same life-threatening behavior.
A new pilot program in Camden County aims to stop the trend.
Law enforcement and county officials have announced the launch of Operation SAL (Save a Life), which provides $150,000 to provide critical treatment services to those who’ve had their lives saved by Narcan.
Emergency room personnel are now getting trained on how to communicate with drug-addicted patients and essentially convince them they need treatment.
“We’re not sure how many folks will take up our offer here,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. “These are addicts. It’s going to be difficult talking folks into getting treatment.”
And as a member of the county’s task force on addiction, Cappelli has seen the need for getting addicts on the right track.
“We’ve had some folks be administered Narcan two days in a row, twice in one day,” Cappelli said.
In total, more than 330 lives have been saved by the antidote in Camden County.
Cappelli said if the program proves successful during its trial run, the county will find ways to contribute more funds.