OCEAN COUNTY – There have already been six known overdose deaths in Ocean County so far this year.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office compiles the numbers of deaths, as well as the numbers of saves with Narcan, the naloxone spray that first responders use to save the lives of people who are at risk of overdosing. Al Della Fave, press officer for the prosecutor’s office, said that there have been 18 reversals due to using Narcan this year.
So, as of the morning of January 18, there has been an average of one death every three days, and one Narcan save a day.
Della Fave shared the following statistics on overdoses for the past few years. Keep in mind that an overdose, by definition, means that someone died from using drugs. Additionally, these figures represent all kinds of overdoses, but he said the majority were from opiates such as heroin and fentanyl.
- 2012: 53 overdoses.
- 2013: 112 overdoses.
- 2014: 101 overdoses. The county began using Narcan in April, and had 129 reversals.
- 2015: 118 overdoses. 272 Narcan reversals.
- 2016: 197 overdoses. 502 Narcan reversals. Della Fave noted that the number of overdoses will likely increase to more than 200 as toxicology reports come in.
- 2017: 6 overdoses. 18 Narcan reversals. These figures are accurate as of the morning of January 18.