Parents, Students Invited To Berkeley Opiate Presentation

Interventionist Lee Platt speaks to Central Regional High School students about how to address their feelings. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

BERKELEY – All are welcome to Central Regional High School at 6 p.m. on April 24 to learn more about the opiate epidemic and how to prevent addiction.

This is the second presentation of the program, which details the dangers of trying opioids just once.

Berkeley police have said that there were 18 overdose deaths in 2016. There were 14 in 2017. First responders are now armed with Narcan, the lifesaving chemical nasal spray that temporarily blocks the effects of opioids. Berkeley estimates that they’ve had more than 30 Narcan reversals last year.

“As we all know, Ocean County and the entire state of New Jersey is in the grips of a terrible opiate epidemic,” Police Chief Karin DiMichele said in a press release. “This addiction crisis touches every age and socio-economic group. Our youth are perhaps the most vulnerable. We at the Berkeley Township Police Department feel that education is one way to combat this issue. Recognizing the signs of abuse in our children is the key to saving lives.”

The Opiate Crisis program features “Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Abuse” and “Hidden in Plain sight,” which, according to Mayor Carmen Amato, “There will actually be a room showing the parents where the hidden places for the drugs are, and where they should look.”

The seminar will be held in the high school’s media center. To get there, use the east gate entrance. The media center will be directly on your right.

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Chris Lundy is News Editor at Micromedia. He has covered Ocean County news and features in various publications since 2003. Lundy worked for Gannett with articles in The Beacon, Observer and Asbury Park Press. He's also written for the Community Connection, Patch and ShoreBeat.