Gov. Chris Christie Announces Statewide Naloxone Program
After a successful pilot program, New Jersey’s governor will equip all first responders with the life-saving overdose antidote.
Gov. Chris Christie announced on Tuesday that he will expand New Jersey’s pilot program to provide emergency responders with the heroin overdose antidote Narcan, otherwise known as naloxone.
Christie went on record in declaring the nation’s war on drugs an “abject failure” in proposing the statewide expansion, which will now provide law enforcement officers in every county, as well as state troopers, with the drug.
“It means this initiative will now be in all 21 counties in the state of New Jersey,” said Christie. The governor went on to state that the opioid antidote has a proven track record of effectiveness.
Christie first established the pilot program last year by providing 28,000 EMTs with Narcan in Occean and Monmouth counties. The success of the trial led to an expansion to Camden county later in the year. The proven success of the three-county trial led to an easy decision to take the program statewide.
“As a result, police officers and EMTs are now trained to be equipped to administer the antidote to overdose victims,” Christie said. “Just since April, more than 40 opiate overdoses in the two counties have been reversed and 40 lives have been saved because of it. It means 40 individuals now have a second chance at life.”
Not one to be hamstrung by his fellow Republican’s ideology, Christie has broken with his party on several occasions regarding drugs. In 2012, he shifted away from prison to mandatory rehab for nonviolent drug offenders, while earlier this year vowed to end the war on drugs in his inaugural address. Christie has also thrown his support behind medical marijuana, though he remains adamantly opposed to legalizing recreational weed.