TOMS RIVER – RWJBarnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, will host a Narcan distribution, training and education session on March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Behavioral Health Center, located at 1691 Route 9. The program is available for anyone who has a loved one or friend who is using opiates or someone who is actively using opiates.
During the session, credentialed counselors and licensed nurses will educate attendees how to administer Narcan to reverse a heroin/opioid overdose. Attendees will also receive ‘hands on’ practice of rescue breathing and naloxone administration. A limited number of Narcan kits will be provided.
The session is being led by Urban Treatment Associates, the state contracted provider of Narcan trainings in Ocean County, and is funded by the Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. As pre-registration is required, individuals are encouraged to contact Joanna Dugan at 856-225-0505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Narcan training and education session is part of RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention’s overall commitment to fighting the opioid epidemic. According to New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, New Jersey emergency officials have deployed Narcan more than 18,000 times since its widespread implementation in 2014. Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that in the United States, nearly 80 percent of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin.
RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention manages the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP), an initiative funded by a grant administered by the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services within the Department of Human Services, and is the result of the collaborative efforts of the DMHAS, the Department of Children and Families and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
RWJBarnabas Health initiated the program in January of 2016 and utilizes trained staff called “recovery specialists” to meet with Narcan-reversed patients in the emergency departments with the goal of engaging them to seek addiction treatment. The recovery specialists sit with patients and serve as advocates for the specialized needs of an individual with a substance use disorder. Once agreeable to seek treatment, OORP patient navigators step in to provide case management services. These navigators provide assistance for clinical treatment and help patients to navigate through other challenges, such as housing or educational needs.
Before OORP, many reversed survivors of naloxone were trapped in a cycle of repeated drug use and may not have received the necessary treatment and recovery support services. The OORP seeks to change this by helping to link individuals who were reversed from an opioid overdose and admitted to select emergency departments, to recovery support services and substance use disorder treatment.
In 2016, RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention has conducted over 700 opioid overdose interventions in Ocean, Monmouth, and Essex Counties as part of OORP. Ocean County accounts for approximately 75 percent, which is four times the anticipated number of individuals reversed from an opioid overdose.
For further information about the OORP, please call RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention at 732-914-3815.