Overdose Prevention Campaign
The New Jersey office of the Drug Policy Alliance launched the Overdose Prevention Campaign on Overdose Awareness Day 2011 in order to promote public health policies aimed at raising awareness about drug overdose and reducing the number of overdose deaths.
In New Jersey, overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death. Almost 6,000 people have died from drug overdoses in New Jersey since 2004 and more than 700 people died from drug overdoses in 2009 alone. These deaths are preventable.
The campaign began by advocating for two important measures designed to reduce these tragic numbers: S851/A578, a Good Samaritan law meant to encourage people to call 911 and seek emergency medical assistance in cases of overdose, and S2082/A3095, which expands access to the life-saving medication, naloxone, for those at risk of experiencing or witnessing a drug overdose.
Our biggest victory to date came on May 3, 2013 when Governor Christie signed the Overdose Prevention Act, a single bill that combined both Good Samaritan protections and expanded access to naloxone. To read more about this victory, click here.
Thanks to this law, the South Jersey AIDS Alliance was able to establish and maintain a naloxone training and distribution program beginning in November of last year. Since that time, they have provided hundreds of kits containing this medication to those in our communities who are vulnerable to opioid overdose. There have already been several reported cases of lives saved, including a mom who was able to revive her daughter! The program relies on a small grant that will only stretch so far. Please consider a small donation to help sustain their efforts.