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Posted Friday, August 17th, 2018

More than 250 Residents in Stigma-Free Morris County Hear Super Bowl Champ Vance Johnson’s Opioid Message  

On Wednesday (Aug. 15), the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office hosted “The Opioid Crisis: Engaging the Community” as the second of four events this year under New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s “21-County, 21st Century Community Policing Project.”Large Turnout for Prosecutor's Rockaway Twp. Opioid Crisis Event

The Community Policing Project was implemented in 2018 with the goal of building better relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

The Prosecutor’s Office partnered with Christ Church,  the state Attorney General’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris Center for Addiction Recovery Education & Success (CARES), Daytop New Jersey, Morris County Department of Human Services and Morris County Prevention is Key for this event, to focus on the opioid crisis in our community.

Large Turnout for Prosecutor's Rockaway Twp. Opioid Crisis Event

(l/r) Prosecutor Knapp, Vance Johnson, and Sheriff Gannon

“The battle against the heroin and opioid epidemic in our community must continue,” said Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp. “While progress has been made in efforts to educate our community and combat addiction, it’s critical that we don’t lose sight of the objective. We will continue to hold events such as this in the future, as well as provide important information for the citizens of Morris County.”

The keynote speaker at the forum was former Denver Broncos wide receiver and Super Bowl Champion Vance Johnson, who has suffered from substance abuse disorder. Johnson’s message demonstrated that addiction does not discriminate and that addiction can  happen in many forms to anyone in our society.

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brad Seabury, presented his “Opiates 101” program, which explains the heroin and opioid epidemic, details the Prosecutor’s Office’s strategy of arresting for-profit illicit drug dealers, and how the Prosecutor’s Office is working with community partners to provide recovery services for those suffering from substance abuse disorder.

A panel discussion featured Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Liu, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, Christ Church Pastor Ron GonzalezBarbara Kauffman of Morris CARES, and Jim Curtin of Daytop. The panel discussion revolved around sharing different perspectives on the heroin and opioid epidemic.Stigma-Free Morris County poster

To help foster treatment and recovery from addiction and mental illness, Morris County government has joined with 34 of the county’s 39 municipalities, law enforcement, educaytional, and nonprofit groups to create a Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative. This grass roots county-wide program aims to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorders.

The initiative is dedicated to raising awareness of these illnesses by creating an environment where affected individuals are supported in their efforts to achieve wellness and recovery.

Please take the Stigma-Free pledge, and help promote the initiative in your town, school, church or business here in Morris County.





















Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.