HEALTH

State gives out opioid overdose reversal drug at pharmacies

With more than 3,000 overdose deaths in New Jersey last year, the state is trying a new pilot program to combat the opioid crisis.

On Tuesday, residents can walk into one of 174 participating pharmacies across the state and pick up the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone for free and without a prescription.

Naloxone nasal sprays will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, and residents who pick them up will remain anonymous. The two-dose packets of naloxone come with information regarding addiction treatment and recovery.

“We are making the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone available for free on Tuesday to help New Jerseyans have the tools they need to support their friends and loved ones and to give us every opportunity to save lives and connect people with opioid addiction to treatment,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said in a statement.

Last year, New Jersey first responders administered naloxone more than 16,000 times, according to state officials.