Heroin support group City of Angels praises overdose antidote Narcan
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MERCER COUNTY - People living with heroin addiction and a group dedicated to helping them are reacting to news of a medicine that can bring people back from the edge of death.
The state of New Jersey and the federal government have both signed off on drugs that serve as an antidote to heroin overdoses.
Members of City of Angels, an organization that does interventions and offers recovery assistance, say they are fighting a war against cheap heroin with free help for addicts.
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Gov. Chris Christie has announced a pilot program that allows police in Ocean and Monmouth counties to administer a drug called Narcan, which counteracts overdoses.
"I think it's great especially if first responders can carry it. I think it can save lives," says Rob Fasoli.
Kevin Porter knows what Narcan can do, because he's overdosed twice. "It's not a fun experience, but it saved my life," he says.
"Your receptors in your brain hold the opiates," Porter says. "When you take Narcan it knocks the opiates off. You go right into withdrawal. Immediate withdrawal."
In the last month, City of Angels has helped 30 people into addiction treatment. If Narcan saves more, then more could be helped, they say. But Narcan won't keep them off.
"That same person who just got saved by the Narcan is going to be getting high 12 hours later if there's not an intervention," says Fasoli.
According to the FDA, overdoses have surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury-death in the U.S.
City of Angels is online and works through donations of services and with volunteers.