HEALTH

New Jersey gives away more than 32,000 doses of naloxone

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Human Services Department says more than 32,000 doses of naloxone were distributed this week as part of its initiative to provide the opioid antidote at pharmacies in the state.

The doses of naloxone nasal spray were handed out Tuesday as part of a pilot program approved by the state’s pharmacy board. Participating pharmacies also shared information about the importance of getting people connected to treatment.

The giveaway cost $1.5 million.

State statistics show there were about 3,000 drug-related deaths in 2018, up from about 2,700 in 2017.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal says naloxone was administered last year by first responders about 16,000 times, preventing thousands of deaths.