Congressman Jeff Van Drew Announces 2M Grant for Overdose Prevention and to Combat the Opioid Crisis

September 17, 2019
Press Release

September 17, 2019
CONTACT – Mackenzie Lucas 1(202) 225-6572

Congressman Jeff Van Drew Announces 2M Grant for Overdose Prevention and to Combat the Opioid Crisis

(Atlantic City, NJ) – Congressman Jeff Van Drew has announced that the Atlantic County Sherriff’s Office has received a 4 year, $500,000 per-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide overdose prevention training for first responders and enhance access to the medicine Naloxone, also known as Narcan, which can treat narcotic overdoses in emergency situations. 

“This grant will directly save lives in our district. The detailed program will increase access to naloxone, train people and first responders on its use, and provide support to those in recovery,” said Congressman Jeff Van Drew. “I thank Sherriff Eric Scheffler and Dr. Richard Jermyn who worked so hard for this grant and do so much for the community of South Jersey.”

“This grant will enhance access to naloxone for first responders, helping them to save the lives of individuals who experience an opiate overdose and prevent future fatal overdoses,” says Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler.

Chief Warrant Officer Tim Reed, of the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, will be Project Director and will collaborate with Dr. Richard Jermyn of Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (Rowan SOM) to implement the project to train first responders.

The program, named “Enhancing First Responder Access to Overdose Treatment in Atlantic County, New Jersey,” will train police, firefighters, casino and hospital security, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in Atlantic County on a novel train-the-trainer model that will distribute naloxone and train overdose survivors and their family members on its use.

In addition, a portion of the grant money will be used to create an Atlantic County Quick Response Team (ACQRT) that will interface with the HOPE-1 Mobile Recovery Unit operated by the Sheriff’s Office. The Quick Response Team will consist of police, EMTs, a social worker, a substance use counselor, and a Rowan SOM medical student. The team will visit overdose survivors and their families within 72 hours of an overdose providing them with compassionate outreach and recovery support and assist in engaging them in treatment. ACQRT will also provide training on how to carry and use naloxone.