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Armato and Mazzeo Resolution Urging All County Prosecutors to Require Law Enforcement Officers to Carry Naloxone Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – A resolution sponsored by Assemblymen John Armato and Vince Mazzeo to encourage county prosecutors to instruct their respective law enforcement officers to be equipped with the lifesaving drug naloxone advanced through the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee. The sponsors hope the resolution (AR-110) can help combat the devastating opioid epidemic which has swept across New Jersey.
“Too many souls have been taken from us due to these harmful opioids,” said Armato (D-Atlantic). “Police officers are oftentimes the first to arrive at a scene, and they should have the means to save a human being’s life.”
“If there is something we can do to stop this crisis, we must do it,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “I believe this will help save lives, and that is our primary concern for all New Jerseyans.”
Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdoses, and its administration has increased significantly in New Jersey as the state is in the wake of an opioid epidemic that has tragically consumed it for the past several years. While not the only state to be hit by the opioid epidemic, New Jersey’s situation is one of the most dire. According to news sources, drug-related deaths in New Jersey increased by 40 percent in 2016, with heroin and fentanyl serving as the prime killers, and the use of naloxone has nearly tripled since 2014. In 2017 alone, Narcan was deployed 14,357 times.
The state-run program, NJ CARES, tracks opioid statistics and works to help those who are addicted, as well as prevent others from falling into the clutches of addiction. To understand the danger of opioids and the severity of the current crisis, Armato and Mazzeo noted that more New Jerseyans died from heroin overdoses in 2016 than all state-wide drug-related deaths in 2012.