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Gloucester Township Police Chief, Deputy Chief Learn About Heroin Antidote

Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle and Deputy Chief David Harkins, Pine Hill Police Chief Chris Winters, and Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson attended a Naloxone training seminar at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Washington Township

Local law enforcement officials attended a seminar on Tuesday to learn about the use of the Heroin antidote, Naloxone.

Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle and Deputy Chief David Harkins, Pine Hill Police Chief Chris Winters, and Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson attended a Naloxone training seminar at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Washington Township.

The Naloxone training was held for family and caregivers to those afflicted with Heroin addiction. Naloxone is a medication that is used counter the effects of a heroin overdose. 

Previously only hospital staff was permitted to administer the antidote.

However, the Opioid Antidote and Overdose Prevention Act made it legal for police officers to start carrying the drug. Legislators passed the act last year.

The Chiefs are in the planning stages of getting Naloxone deployed to their officers to help save lives. Activitst Patty DiRenzo invited them to the seminar. She arranged the training session with the South Jersey AIDS Alliance Naloxone Distribution Program.

The act doesn't limit possession and administration of the antidote to police officers. It provides immunity for witnesses and drug overdose victims, and allows both healthcare professionals or pharmacists and non-healthcare professionals to dispense the antidote in emergency situations.

Camden County has seen a string of overdoses this year. In mid-march, the county reported 15 overdoses over the course of two days in Camden, Berlin, Stratford and Gloucester City.

Another 20 overdoses were reported throughout the county two weeks later.

For more information about the Naloxone Distribution contact the South Jersey AIDS Alliance at  609-347-1085, or go to http://www.southjerseyaidsalliance.org/ .

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