The initiative is part of the Murphy Administration’s ongoing efforts to combat the opioid crisis and save lives by getting life-saving naloxone into as many hands as possible.
Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
Under the Naloxone365 initiative, those ages 14 and older can request and obtain naloxone at participating pharmacies for free without having to provide a name or reason. No prescription is needed. One two-dose naloxone nasal spray kit is provided per visit.
Governor Murphy announced the initiative in his January State of the State address. Since then, Human Services has partnered with the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy to recruit pharmacies to join the program.
As of today, 610 pharmacies are participating, and 40,687 naloxone kits have already been distributed. The Department will continue working to get more pharmacies to join.
Human Services has previously held special pharmacy naloxone giveaways in recent years, but this program enables consumers to obtain free naloxone any day of the year.
“Naloxone is a safe, easy to use, fast-acting and effective nasal spray medication to reverse an overdose and save someone’s life,” Adelman said. “Making naloxone accessible and available for free and anonymously in pharmacies eliminates the most common barriers to the life-saving medication, helps reduce stigma, and ultimately may encourage people to seek treatment and long-term recovery. New Jerseyans can search StopOverdoses.nj.gov to find participating pharmacies in every county across the state. Keeping naloxone in your medicine cabinet is a good idea for any person, so please consider getting some today.”
“I thank Governor Murphy for his continued efforts to expand access to naloxone and empower residents to help prevent opioid overdoses,” Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said. “Together with our partners at the Department of Human Services we are working to ensure that all New Jerseyans are able to obtain this life-saving medication anonymously and free of charge at pharmacies throughout the state.”
“I thank the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy and all of the pharmacies participating in Naloxone365,” Adelman said. “This program is an example of the meaningful difference that can be made through public-private partnerships. Naloxone365 required some new, one-time and ongoing work by pharmacies to participate, and even so hundreds of New Jersey pharmacies and their corporate leadership have stepped forward to be partners in this life-saving program.”
The Murphy Administration last year launched Naloxone Direct, which gives eligible agencies the opportunity to request direct shipments of naloxone online anytime they need it. Among others, the eligible agencies for that program include first responder agencies, harm reduction agencies, county prosecutor’s offices, libraries and shelters.
Through such various efforts, since 2018 Human Services has distributed about 270,000 two-dose naloxone kits throughout the state.
Human Services also noted that giving people this live-saving antidote is an opportunity to get people on the path to recovery by connecting them to treatment.
“Naloxone is not just an opportunity to save lives – it’s an opportunity to give more people struggling with addiction the chance to treat the effects substance use disorder has on their lives,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who oversees Human Service’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “We want individuals to know that recovery is achievable and help is available. Naloxone availability is one of the many resources we have available to help individuals. It is a top priority of our ongoing work to reverse the tide of this epidemic.”
Commissioner Adelman also urged anyone seeking addiction assistance to call 1-844-ReachNJ (732-2465), a 24-hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week addictions help line, where people facing addiction or their friends and family can get immediate assistance and support from live, New Jersey-based, trained addiction counselors.