MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County residents will be able to comment on the expanding opioid epidemic at a May 17 town hall meeting in Parsippany co-sponsored by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.
The event at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy, 500 West Hanover Avenue will give residents a chance to join an informal conversation on the national epidemic and is part of the non-profit Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall series. The event will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m.
Organized with the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the town hall series focuses on prescription drug dependency and heroin abuse and includes collaboration from local and county law enforcement, government and medical community leaders.
In addition to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, co-sponsors for the Morris event include the County of Morris, the Community Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Morris and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office
Speakers include Prosecutor Knapp, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Bradford Seabury, head of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division; Diane P. Calello, executive and medical director, NJ Poison Information and Education System; Barbara Kauffman, director of Prevention Services, MCPIK; Vicky Mulligan, an organizer with MorrisCountyStigmaFree.org and Alton Robinson, Recovery Advocate with CARES NJ.
More than 33,000 Americans die annually from opioid overdose, an average of about 91 deaths per day, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Morris County, deaths caused by opioid overdoses increased from 43 in 2015 to 64 in 2016. There have been at least 34 such deaths so far in 2017.
Hoping to stem the tide of addiction, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will launch a new program May 18 aimed at steering drug users into treatment. Known as Narcan 2.0, the initiative will require law enforcement officers to contact peer recovery counselors whenever they use the drug, Narcan, to reverse an overdose. This would truly give individuals a second chance at life.