Cape May County police chiefs vote in support of heroin antidote

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Use by local law enforcement now needs to be approved by acting attorney general

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE—Lives in Cape May County may be saved that would otherwise have been lost to a vicious drug, once county detectives are trained to use an antidote for heroin overdoses.

The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office announced that the Chiefs of Police Association voted Thursday to support the use of Narcan by all local police departments in the county, the sheriff’s department, and prosecutor’s office.

Now, the action must be approved by the state’s acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman, the office said.

“The county chiefs want to be ready to proceed with local training once the attorney general gives the approval,” the statement reads.

According to the prosecutor’s office, there have been 56 drug overdoses this year in Cape May County, three of which have been fatal. Last year, there were 106 overdoses total, meaning that the number of overdoses in 2014 is rising.

Narcan is a trademarked version of the drug Naloxone, and the antidote is also known as Nalone and Narcanti. It was developed in the 1960s and is used to counter opiate overdoses. It works like a nasal spray.

Ocean County law enforcement approved its use in late 2013, and the prosecutor’s office said in a statement that they would follow the model program developed by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

A policy is being drafted that will include training guidelines for officers, the prosecutor’s office said. Two detectives from that office are being sent to train at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, after which they will be approved to train all of Cape May County officers.

Prosecutor Robert Taylor said that the Narcan doses cost about $25, and the equipment costs about $25 per officer. His office’s drug forfeiture fund will cover those costs.

“Narcan cannot solve the heroin and opiate addiction problem, but it can save lives,” the prosecutor’s office said.  

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