Capital Health helps Mercer County cops combat heroin epidemic

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP >> The impact of heroin and the death toll from accidental drug overdoses is as concerning to Mercer County law enforcement officials as it is to the local area doctors who have taken an oath to prevent diseases wherever they can.

At least 55 people died from accidental drug overdoses in Mercer County last year, and at least 25 people in the county have died from an accidental overdose this year, according to the Mercer County Medical Examiner Office. Many of those deaths were heroin related.

are losing kids; we are losing people constantly, and that is really difficult for us, Al Maghazehe, CEO and president of Capital Health, said Thursday of the deadly opioid epidemic. all of us who are in this field, our job is to save people.

But that batch of Narcan expired at the end of July, forcing Onofri to supply the police departments with enough additional vials of Narcan until the county could make permanent arrangements to get quick, easy and cost effective access to large quantities of the life saving drug on an as needed basis.

The Mercer County Prosecutor Office asked Capital Health whether it would be willing to donate free supplies of Narcan replenishments, and the health system happily obliged.

the prosecutor asked us to team up with the county, we obviously welcomed that, Maghazehe said Thursday during a press conference with Onofri at the Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell Township. 5, 2014, the powerful drug as of Wednesday has been administered 131 times throughout the county on victims suffering from a drug overdose. The Mercer County stats show 115 of those overdoses were reversed by Narcan, but 10 people died and it was not clear on whether the Narcan had worked in six other cases, which shows Narcan is effective but not 100 percent guaranteed to save lives.

Narcan is a brand name for a drug that is generically known as naloxone hydrochloride. It is administered through the nostrils like a nasal spray.

Of the 131 deployments, the Hamilton Township Police Division has deployed Narcan on 53 separate occasions, far more than any other police department in Mercer County. The next most deployments were administered by the Trenton and Ewing Township police departments, which have each deployed the drug 14 times each, according to data provided by the prosecutor office.

In agreeing to supply the prosecutor office with an initial batch of 530 vials of Narcan, will continue to make a commitment to the people of this county, Maghazehe said of Capital Health commitment to cheap jerseys provide police with Narcan on an as needed basis. is not about money; this is not about business; this is about saving lives.

Not only did Onofri redistribute a fresh supply of Narcan to the local area cops at the event, he also informed them about a new Mercer County Prosecutor Office initiative called One Voice, which is a partnership involving the prosecutor office, government leaders, health care professionals, local law enforcement officials, families of overdose victims and the faith community.

The One Voice alliance will one clear message to the community about the harmful nature of opioids, Onofri said, adding the prosecutor office will work with schools and recovery professionals to host opioid awareness programs and educate the public about New Jersey Good Samaritan law the Overdose Prevention Act that prohibits police from making any drug arrests on anyone who calls 911 to report an overdose.

have to get out into the community; we have to spread this message; we have to make parents and students aware of the evils of opioids and just how addictive they are, Onofri said.

Delivering further words befitting of a tough talking prosecutor, Onofri said, is cheap, it is readily available and we have to do something before our kids get hooked on this very dangerous drug.