TOMS RIVER - Police in Ocean County will be the first in New Jersey to be able to use a heroin antidote that’s known as the "miracle cure."
A hands-on class led by Dr. Ken Lavelle was held Friday to train about 20 police officers to administer Naloxone, also called Narcan.
Use of the drug is simple. The device is an atomizer, similar to a nasal spray.
The drug blocks the body's opiate receptors and can save the life of someone in the midst of a heroin overdose.
"This is a pilot," Lavelle says. "We're going to see how it works over the next few months and, if successful, it can be rolled out to other counties as well."
Ocean Township Police Sgt. Dennis Jarin was among those who gave it a try. Just last year he responded twice to heroin overdoses. "This is a great tool that's being added to our first aid kit along with the AED in order to make a difference if we do encounter someone in an overdose."
The nasal spray should be in use on the streets in about two to four weeks. The officers who were just trained will go back to their departments and teach other officers.
Police officers in New York and Massachusetts have already saved dozens of lives by administering Narcan. It can also help reverse the effects of other opiate drugs, including oxycodone.