In the past few years, Warren County has had an alarming number of overdose deaths due to heroin, prescription medications and other drugs, along with dozens of overdoses where Narcan was administered by law enforcement to save lives.
In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose, an average of about 91 deaths per day, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers are expected to get worse before getting better. Community members in the Warren County area are invited to join the conversation on the national opioid epidemic as the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey continues its Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall series on Friday Sept. 29 at Warren County Community College. Doors open at 9:30, The discussion begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 12 noon.
“All residents of New Jersey are encouraged to join the conversation and participate in their local Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall to understand the disease of addiction, develop strategies to help protect their families and identify resources to address individuals who have become dependent on prescription drugs or are abusing heroin,” said Angelo Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.
The Coalition of Healthy and Safe Communities of Warren County invites the public to a free “Knock Out Opiate Abuse Town Hall” event sponsored by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the philanthropic arm of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, New Jersey and The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, the Coalition of Healthy and Safe Communities of Warren County, County of Warren County, Warren County Community College, and the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.
The panel of guest speakers includes Eugene M. Decker, DO, St. Luke’s University Health Network, NJ Assemblyman John DiMaio, Bill Stover, Associate Executive Director of the Family Guidance Center of Warren County, Mariel Hufnagel, Executive Director of The Ammon Foundation, Mary Jo Harris, Coordinator of the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities of Warren County, and Warren County Prosecutor Richard T. Burke.
The public is invited to this free event to join others in hopes of ultimately reducing and preventing opioid misuse.
“This is a great opportunity to better understand what is happening – and why – in our neighborhoods,” said Harris. “This is a horrific crisis that affects families, friends, and neighbors.”
Added Assemblyman DiMaio, “Make no mistake. This is a crisis that we need to tackle right now. It’s not something we can put off and pretend it’s not happening.”
The Town Hall Meeting precedes the state-wide initiative “Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day” taking place the following week on Friday, October 6th when over 100 volunteers will canvas Warren County providing information to medical professionals and the community at large on the abuse of opiates.
Please register for the Knock Out Opiate Abuse Town Hall event at this link: http://knockoutopioidabuse.drugfreenj.org. For more information about addiction prevention, treatment and recovery in Warren County, call the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities at (908) 223-1985.