Everyone living in New Jersey these days is aware of the ongoing heroin epidemic. It is impossible to escape the daily news of overdoses, deaths, and crises related to drug use and heroin in our communities, sprinkled with occasional news of actions taken to address the problem.
More Addiction Treatment in New Jersey
Sunrise Detox opened 2 new full-sized treatment centers in New Jersey to help address this epidemic. With medical detox centers in Stirling (Long Hill), Toms River (Ocean County) and Cherry Hill, Sunrise Detox manages 79 beds in New Jersey, helping over ten thousand people per year get needed addiction treatment.
Increasing use of Naloxone (Narcan)
Many New Jersey municipalities were overrun with urgent demands for emergency services related to heroin overdose. They have increased use of naloxone, commonly known as Narcan.
Naloxone is a drug which reverses the effect of narcotic pain killers and heroin. It can save a life if administered in time. While naloxone has been available to emergency medical staff and physicians for over 30 years, until recently it was very tightly regulated under the law. It was not available over the counter, and was illegal to possess by anyone other than those supervised by a physician.
In 2013 the NJ Overdose Protection Act (S2082) was passed to allow even citizen first responders to administer naloxone in an emergency. In 2014 Sunrise Detox worked closely with the Ocean County Prosecutor to bring a Narcan pilot program into Ocean and Monmouth counties, greatly increasing availability of naloxone in those counties.
The pilot was a great success. Over 200 overdose reversals were recorded in the first 7 months in just those two counties.
Naloxone availability has since expanded throughout the state, driven by the need to respond to thousands of overdoses. But a significant problem remains : people continue to die.
Narcan is an emergency response tool, but not an answer to heroin addiction. Overdosing addicts saved by emergency use of Narcan are still dying after they return to their lives, often just days after being saved.
They need addiction treatment.
Life After Narcan — Understanding Addiction
Sunrise Detox collaborated with the Narcan pilot program to provide expertise and professional addiction education to the entire team, and by dedicating treatment center beds to the program for those saved by Narcan.
Sunrise Detox representatives worked closely with the entire team while the pilot program provided medical detox and addiction treatment to those saved by administration of naloxone, at several facilities serving Ocean and Monmouth counties.
Narcan is a great way to prevent an overdose death, but effective addiction treatment is the only way to save the lives lost to addiction, including the deaths from overdose that cannot be saved by naloxone.
If there is to be Life After Narcan, that life must include addiction treatment. It is essential to get individuals into a treatment program immediately, at the moment they are willing to accept help, and before withdrawal sickness drives them to resume using drugs.
Understanding Addiction Treatment
After treating over 70,000 individuals and their families in New Jersey, Atlanta, and Florida, we have learned that a respectful, comfortable medical detox under the care of an experienced addiction treatment team is the absolute best start to a successful recovery. We now want to help all New Jersey stakeholders understand what that entails, and how to best prepare for success addressing the addiction epidemic hurting our communities, beyond the improved emergency response.
Please watch the websites for Sunrise Detox in Stirling/Long Hill, Toms River, and Cherry Hill for a series of informational articles and blog posts in a new category labeled “Life After Narcan“.
We are dedicating this effort to raising awareness of the important issues that must be addressed as we continue to make progress in the battle against addiction in New Jersey, including the use of naloxone.
If you would like to contribute, or have additional questions, please contact us by phone or an email address setup specifically for this activity : AfterNarcan @ SunriseDetoxTomsRiver.com