New Jersey to Launch One-Day Program to Distribute Free Naloxone at Pharmacies

Here’s what you need to know about how to get the overdose-reversing drug

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is launching a one-day program to give out the free doses of the drug that saves people from opioid overdoses.

Almost 200 pharmacies in New Jersey will distribute naloxone on Tuesday.

The pharmacies will give out one dose of the medication per person on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Those seeking free doses can remain anonymous and do not need a prescription or appointment.

According to Murphy, 3,000 people died of overdoses in New Jersey last year.

"Through this initiative, people who are battling with addiction will be able to receive access to this critical medication and help them get on a path to recovery,” Murphy said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know about naloxone and how you can get it in New Jersey:

What is naloxone?

Naloxone is medication that quickly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose according to the New Jersey Department of Health. The drug binds to opioid receptors in the body to reverse or block the effects of other opioids within two to five minutes. It can be administered as a nasal spray or injection if the user has proper training.

Do I need a prescription for naloxone?

You can get naloxone without a prescription at CVS pharmacies in most states, under certain state-specific protocols.

In New Jersey, Senate Bill 295 states that a pharmacist may distribute the antidote to any patient regardless of if they have a prescription. The Overdose Prevention Act also gives protections to bystanders who assist in an overdose emergency in the Garden State.

How much does naloxone cost?

The cost of naloxone varies depending on insurance coverage. Two doses of the brand-name drug, Narcan, without insurance were $150 in 2016, according to The New England Journal of Medicine.

Where can I get naloxone for free?

On Tuesday you can get Naloxone for free without a prescription or appointment at these participating pharmacies in New Jersey.

There are also opioid overdose prevention programs that provide free naloxone rescue kits and training for individuals or loved ones who are at-risk of overdosing.

When does naloxone expire?

Naloxone has a shelf life of 18-24 months, according to the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition. Do not use the medication after it has expired.

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