By David Madden

CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie brought his campaign to battle opioid addiction to Cooper Hospital, where a national effort kicked off to bring attention to the issue.

The American Pain Association plans to take this effort to every state in the country, insisting any real battle to reduce opioid abuse must start with the realization of the magnitude of the problem. Christie agreed, noting the problem will get worse before the number of avoidable opioid deaths starts to drop. And to that end, here’s one idea the Governor is pushing.

(credit: David Madden)

“Every EMT, every member of law enforcement should have along with their gun doses of Narcan to be able to administer when they come across someone who’s in the middle of an overdose,” Christie said.

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After all, he reminded attendees, addicts can’t be afforded the chance to enter a detox program if they’re dead.

This day long conference in Camden brought physicians together with activists and sports figures in hopes of heightening attention to the issue. Organizers noted how the number of fatal opioid overdoses skyrocketed over the last decade while the country addressed other health issues from breast-feeding to walking as a way to improve overall health. That, in their opinion, has to change with the general public and their elected officials.