Posted Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic in Morris County
As part of a continuing series of opiate and heroin forums in Morris County, upcoming events are scheduled on May 3 in Dover and May 10 in Kinnelon.
It is part of a coordinated countywide effort of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Board of Freeholders, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, local municipalities and police departments and school districts, plus a host of nonprofit agencies to raise awareness of the opioid and heroin epidemic.
Upcoming programs and their local sponsors follow. All programs start at 7 p.m. and include a question and answer segment.
“We are working in a coordinated countywide effort to deal with these troubling issues, which are ruining individual lives and destroying families, who are hard-pressed to deal with this deadly affliction,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “Most important is to foster recovery in a stigma-free environment that encourages people to seek out programs and services that can help them.’’
“By raising public consciousness of this heroin-opioid epidemic, it is our hope to stem the tide of addiction and related deaths,” said Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.
More than 33,000 Americans – about 91 a day — died from opioid overdoses in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Morris County is hardly immune from the growing epidemic as fatal opiate overdoses in the county rose from 43 in 2015 to 64 in 2016.
This year, there have been at least 23 overdoses in less than four months, which is a pace that would exceed last year’s total.
The special symposiums being held in Morris County — in conjunction with municipal police departments and local anti-drug groups — are designed to highlight the devastating impact heroin and prescription opiates can have on families and communities.
The programs are presented by Prosecutor Knapp and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Bradford Seabury, head of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division. Seabury details the latest national and local statistics and delves into how illicit drugs are distributed and sold in the United States.
He also describes how addiction can start and ways to combat it. The numbers are sobering. The United States has 4.6 percent of the world’s population, but consumes approximately 80 percent of the world’s opioids. The presentations are valuable for both students and their parents.
A law signed earlier this year by Gov. Chris Christie limits physicians to providing first time patients with only a five-day supply of opioid prescriptions. The limit is significant, because experts say addiction often begins when patients are proscribed far more opiates for pain than they need.
For additional information, please contact Public Information Officer Fred Snowflack at [email protected] or (973) 829-8159.
For more information on Morris County’s Stigma Free Initiative, visit Morris County new Stigma Free website