Town Hall To Highlight Opioid Crisis In Ocean County

LITTLE EGG HARBOR – The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey will host an in-depth look at the opioid epidemic 6-8 p.m. May 17 at Calvary Baptist Church, 850 Railroad Drive.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner and registration.

The event is being hosted in collaboration with the church and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

“It is important that residents get involved in the conversation and participate in their local Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall to learn more about the disease of addiction, develop strategies to prevent substance use in their families and identify resources that can help people struggling with addiction,” Angelo Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, said. “No community is immune to the opioid epidemic, and only by coming together can we effectively explore solutions to address this crisis.”

The series began in 2017 and has been hosted in 17 counties. It focuses on the link between opioid prescription use and heroin use, and brings together law enforcement, government, medical personnel to speak on prevention, treatment and recovery.

Ocean County is often considered point-zero in the opioid epidemic, having the second-highest overdoses in the state in 2016.

“Government, health, community and law enforcement officials nationally today have a clear picture of the tragic depth of the opioid crisis. The fight to address it is a marathon – not a sprint, where all four entities must work together,” Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said. “Law enforcement cannot solve this crisis alone. We must develop partnerships and build a new system from the ground up in order to make any real impact. Town hall events are critical in examining every element of the problem to find solutions and implement proactive measures to stop the unspeakable tragic loss of life. Each town hall provides valuable lessons from those living the nightmare.”

Speakers include Coronato, Dr. Muhammad Abbas of Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Pastor Mike Dellaperute of Calvary Baptist Church, Lisa Dejesus, BS, Director of Prevention Services of Prevention Links, and Michael Capko, Manager of DART Coalition.

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