MAHWAH, N.J. – Mahwah police, the Municipal Alliance and The Valley Hospital will provide a training class and a free Narcan kit to nurses at Bergen County public and parochial schools in what is believed to be the first initiative of its kind in the county to fight the heroin scourge, township Police Chief James N Batelli announced Monday.
Training in administering the heroin/opioid nasal-spray antidote is set for April 26 at township police headquarters.
Dr. Marc Dreier, an emergency room physician at the Valley Hospital, will conduct two sessions for what are expected to be 100 or so nurses, the chief said.
Dreier “has trained most Bergen County law enforcement officers in the use of Narcan and spoke at a recent Mahwah Municipal Alliance Town Hall meeting on substance abuse,” Batelli said.
Valley Hospital’s participation “demonstrates its commitment in a collaborative effort to address the public health crisis of opioid addiction that communities throughout the state are facing," he said
“Law enforcement cannot solve this problem in the jails and courts,” the chief said. “It is going to take a campaign to educate the public and provide resources to stop the deaths from opioid overdoses that are occurring each day."
Batelli also emphasized that views of addiction as “a moral failing” has “created an unwarranted stigma preventing many from coming forward and getting the help they need.
“Opioid addiction knows no age or socio economic boundaries and it needs to be addressed at several levels,” he said. “The work of Valley Hospital and the Mahwah Municipal Hospital is key to opening lines of communication and educating the public.”