Vernon, county to implement Narcan program

| 07 Aug 2014 | 12:33

The Vernon Township Council voted in favor of implementing a program that will train and equip police officers in the use of Narcan on July 28.

Narcan is an antidote that is administered to a patient when involved in a heroin overdose. When administered properly is increases the patient’s recovery time, saving their life from an overdose.

“The police have been working on this (initiative) for over a year.” Council President Brian Lynch said. "We will have two officers trained, to train other officers. I support Narcan.”

The township and Sussex County will train police officers on proper administration of the antidote under the direction of police chief Randy Mills. The town will begin using Narcan in July and August.

Councilman Dan Kadish started pushing for the implementation of Narcan use several months ago.

“Thanks for the support on Narcan," he said. "It is an important step to save lives.”

The drug also will be used countywide as county officals will begin training officers and emergency medical technicians to administer Narcan in the event of a heroin overdose.

When administered properly, the nasal spray increases the patient’s recovery time, saving their lives.

Sgt. Nick Elmo, county coordinator for the Narcan program will begin training each municipality's coordinator at the end of the month. Then each local police department will train its officers.

Elmo said Ocean County was the first in the state to begin the program with success and they have been up and running for at least 6 months. Union County is using the program as well. Successes in those counties have prompted other areas, such as Sussex County, to institute the program.

Prior to now, only doctors and paramedics were authorized to administer Narcan to a patient. This program will allow a first responder on the scene to administer the antidote, saving time and potentially saving a life.

“It has no side affects.” Elmo said. “That was a concern at first. If first responder, that is not a doctor, mistakes, say a heart attack, and administers the Narcan, there will be no side affects. It is designed only to stop the affects of heroin.”

Elmo said the Narcan kits have been ordered for each municipality in the county and they should be trained by the end of August to the beginning of September. The entire program should be up and running by November.