NJ Transit police saving lives from opioids

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NEWARK, NJ — On the front lines in the battle against opioids, NJ Transit Police Department has surpassed 100 life-saving rescues this year through the use of naloxone, more commonly known by its brand name Narcan.

Naloxone is a nasal spray used for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. All NJ Transit Police Department officers are trained in the use of Narcan. Narcan kits are located in every NJ Transit police vehicle and at select NJ Transit stations and terminals.

“NJ Transit police officers have shown time and time again the critical nature of their work,” NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett said. “They are usually the first to respond when a call comes in about a suspected drug overdose in a transit facility. I’m proud of the quick work our police officers do to save lives.”

“We’ve seen a 99-percent success rate with the use of Narcan. While that’s a remarkable number it’s more than just a statistic; these are lives we’re saving,” NJ Transit Police Department Chief Christopher Trucillo said. “Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of opioid-related incidents in and around our stations. That’s why efforts like our Social Outreach Program connect individuals to the help they need before they begin the life of an opioid user.”

The New Jersey Transit Police Department prevention efforts begin long before the use of Narcan is required. The early intervention work includes a monthly Social Outreach Program in Atlantic City, Trenton and Camden. In the Northern District, the department’s community outreach officer helps to connect at-risk individuals with the services they need.

The Social Outreach Program is operated in connection with social service organizations and the judicial system, giving the homeless and at-risk individuals a one-stop location for direct access to services including health care, housing, veterans programs, rehabilitation and other critical resources. It also provides the ability to resolve outstanding issues with the judicial system. The program concept helps bridge the gap between law enforcement and social services to improve the health and well-being of those in need in a community.