Thursday, May 18th, 2017
GET REAL FACTS ABOUT THE EPIDEMIC THAT IS TOUCHING ALL TOWNS IN MORRIS COUNTY
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, as part of its continuing effort to raise countywide awareness of the opioid and heroin epidemic, will hold a special program in Chatham Township on Wednesday, May 24, at 7 p.m, at the Chatham Township municipal building.
The program, held in concert with the Chatham Township Committee, will be presented by Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Bradford Seabury, who heads the Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division.
“By raising public consciousness of this heroin-opioid epidemic, it is our hope to stem the tide of addiction and related deaths,” said Knapp, who noted that the presentations are valuable for both students and their parents.
“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 Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “I applaud the Prosecutor’s Office and Chatham Township for bringing this issue to the forefront.”
During the presentation, Assistant Prosecutor Seabury will detail the latest national and local statistics and delves into how illicit drugs are distributed and sold in the United States. He also will 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. 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 not 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 36 overdoses in less than five months, which is a pace that would exceed last year’s total.
The approach of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office coincides with state efforts to combat opioid addiction. 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.
Morris County also has initiated a Stigma-Free movement aimed at eliminating the stigma associated with substance abuse and mental illness, with a goal of fostering treatment and recovery.
In addition, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office also has launched an initiative mandating that individuals revived by the drug, Narcan, which counteracts an opiate overdose, have ready access to a peer recovery specialist who will encourage them to seek treatment. The program is called Narcan 2.0 and is designed to give individuals a second chance at life.
For additional information, please contact Public Information Officer Fred Snowflack at [email protected] or (973) 829-8159.