Ocean County Authorities Committed To Fighting Opioid Misuse

  TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office (OCPO) has announced its partnership with The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey in order to spread lifesaving messages about prescription opioid misuse.

  Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer sated his mission is to “protect the residents of his county from prescription opioid dependency and addiction through education and awareness.”

  The OCPO has become the first prosecutor’s office in the state to bring this safe opioid prescribing program directly to its residents, with Prosecutor Billhimer providing scholarships to 500 doctors and dentists in Ocean County.

  According to the department, a total of 363,520 Ocean County residents have been impacted by the education that reflects both Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and New Jersey state education requirements.

  “The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has been a trusted ally in our ongoing battle against opioid abuse,” Prosecutor Billhimer said. “We are always looking for opportunities to leverage our resources when it comes to opioid education and substance abuse prevention. This unique approach, providing continuing medical education credits to prescribers is a natural intersection for law enforcement and the medical community. This collaborative approach is essential in our seemingly never-ending battle against opioid abuse.”

  Recently, Prosecutor Billhimer has been working with local businesses by sharing educational and awareness materials directly with their customers as well as organizing Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day (KOOAD).

From left: OCPO Agent Michael Colwell, PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente, Butler Pharmacy owner Tracye Steel, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer, and Point Pleasant Borough Police Chief Adam Picca. (Photo courtesy Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office)

  Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day is a permanent day of prevention, education and awareness to shine a light on the opioid epidemic that continues to plague New Jersey.

  Throughout the County, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has worked with with over 20 local businesses to distribute opioid education materials.

  “No one is immune from the opioid epidemic, and the Prosecutor’s efforts to get this important information into the hands of residents in the places they visit in the local community is helping to save lives,” said Angelo Valente, executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.  “Prosecutor Billhimer and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office have been a tremendous partner of PDFNJ in the effort to address the opioid epidemic in New Jersey and a model of a successful collaboration that truly benefits the residents of Ocean County.”

  Between January and September 2022, there were 582 naloxone administrations in Ocean County to reverse opioid overdoses and 137 suspected overdose deaths.