According to the Ocean County Prosecutors Office, there have been 63 overdose deaths and 150 overdose reversals in 2015. While there is a sharp decline in the number of overdose deaths in comparison to previous years, Ocean County still faces an opiate and heroin crisis.
On August 31, Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center is proud to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), a global event designed to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of drug addiction, overdose, and treatment. Additionally, IOAD acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have suffered death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention has taken many steps to reduce the number of prescription opiate and heroin overdoses throughout Ocean County. The Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention recently partnered with local hospitals and law enforcement agencies to begin a Naloxone replenishment program for police departments that use the drug for overdose reversals. Beginning July 1, the program provides a new Naloxone kit to all police officers as they leave the hospital after bringing in a person who has been administered Naloxone to reverse an overdose.
In addition, the DART Coalition of Ocean County, a community based prevention coalition, works with local law enforcement agencies and community groups to increase the number of prescription drug drop boxes across the county. The DART Coalition also holds public forums and community events to raise awareness on the issue of prescription drug and heroin abuse.
"Addiction does not discriminate – it affects all types of people from all walks of life," says Connie Greene, Vice President, Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention. "Now, there are steps you can take to save the life of someone who overdoses by being a part of one of our initiatives."
In an effort to spread awareness of drug addiction and overdose treatment, Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center reminds the public that it is important to be aware of the various symptoms of drug overdose. Signs of opioid and depressant drug overdose include disorientation, shallow breathing, snoring or gurgling sounds, blue lips or fingertips, floppy arms and legs and no response to stimulus.
If you suspect someone is overdosing, take action immediately and follow the below steps:
- Call 911
- Stay with the person and assure them that everything will be okay
- If they appear unconscious, try to get a response from them by calling their name. If you can't get a response, put them in the recovery position and call an ambulance.
- Commence first-aid – emergency operators can give CPR instructions
- Keep an eye on them, people can go in and out of consciousness
To learn more about services offered at Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, please call the 24-hour Access Line at 1-800-300-0628.
For more information or to become a member of the DART Coalition, please contact Coalition Director Jennifer Marziale at 732-942-5753.
About Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center
The Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center offers an extensive array of high-quality, clinically-focused programs. These programs include a 100-bed acute care psychiatric facility which provides inpatient and intensive outpatient programs for adults and older adults diagnosed with psychiatric and dual disorders. At the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, the multidisciplinary staff includes experienced professionals in nearly every facet of behavioral health care. This allows the provision of truly customized and highly specialized treatment tracks. For more information on programs and services or to make a referral, call the 24/7 Access Center at 800-300-0628.