Posted Thursday, September 29th, 2016


opiatesThe Morris County Board of Freeholders is asking all county residents to join them in the battle against opiate abuse and heroin addiction that is plaguing the state and nation, and which has taken more than 100 lives in Morris County this year.

The Freeholders issued a proclamation on Wednesday naming Oct. 6 as Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day in Morris County, in connection with a statewide volunteer event next Thursday to spread the word to opiate prescribers and families about the opiate epidemic.

All seven freeholders pledged to participate on Thursday to help get the word out and urged county residents to volunteer. They also have urged county residents to help persons battling drug addictions overcome the stigma of their problem so they are more willing to seek help to lead to recovery.

This is part of a statewide initiative to deal with the epidemic of opiate abuse and resultant addiction in our state and right here in Morris County,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo. “The Board of Freeholders feels strongly about this issue which is why we are making this proclamation tonight and invited leaders of our community, who are in the forefront of this battle, to be with us this evening.’’

opiates-2“We understand that one event on one day is not going to solve this problem. But the effort of Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day is to reach out to providers of opiates and to make the community even more aware of the crisis we are facing, one that threatens every single family in our community.’’

Accepting the proclamation from the Freeholders on Wednesday evening in Morristown were Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brad Seabury, Morris County Addictions Services Administrator Beth Jacobson; and Barbara Kauffman, Director of Prevention Services for Morris County Prevention is Key.

Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day is an initiative with a dual purpose: Educate families of the addictive qualities of opioid pain medicines and their link to heroin abuse; and outreach to physicians and dentists who prescribe opiates, asking them to consider other therapies and treatment goals for patients, and to discuss with patients the pros and cons of opioids.

MORRIS-COUNTY-STIGMA-FREEThis statewide single-day initiative is designed to mobilize the prevention and treatment communities, community leaders, and concerned residents to raise awareness of the potential for dependency on prescribed pain medicine and its link heroin abuse.

Teams of volunteers across Morris County will visit physician and dental offices in their communities on Oct. 6, equipped with information for each prescriber designed to raise awareness of the opioid abuse epidemic facing New Jersey and the steps they can take to help stem the epidemic

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Opiate Abuse Task Force, the Community Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Morris, and the Morris County Department of Human Services, along with many community and non-profit organizations have been working publicly for the past few years to call attention to this epidemic and educate the public.

Prosecutor Knapp and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seabury met on Wednesday with a large group of Morris County clergy to help spread the word to their congregations.