Over 170 NJ pharmacies give out free doses of Narcan

On Tuesday, hundreds of pharmacies from across New Jersey distributed free doses of Narcan, the nasal spray used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

According to state officials, New Jersey had more than 3,000 opioid-related overdose deaths last year, with Essex County recording the highest number for the last two years.

“They should be doing it every six months,” said Alex Owolabi, a participating pharmacist. “At least twice or three times a year to help people.”

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 72,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2018, a death toll higher than H.I.V., car crashes or gun deaths at their peaks. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for adults under 55.