Town Hall to Address Effects of Opioid Crisis on Cape May County
Cape May County residents are encouraged to join the conversation on the statewide opioid epidemic when the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey bring the Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall Series to the county this spring.The town hall, organized in collaboration with Cape Assist, will be held from 9-11 a.m. Thursday, April 19 at the Dennis Township Senior Center, 571 Petersburg Road, Dennisville, NJ 08214. Doors will open at 8 a.m. for breakfast and registration.“It is vital that residents join the conversation and participate in their local Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall to better understand the disease of addiction, develop strategies to help protect their families and identify resources to address individuals struggling with substance use,” said Angelo Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. “This epidemic affects everyone, and only by coming together can we effectively explore solutions to address the opioid crisis.”The series, which began in 2017 and has been hosted in 13 New Jersey counties thus far, focuses on the link between prescription opioid dependency and heroin use and examines the causes and possible solutions of the opioid crisis from several perspectives, including law enforcement, the medical community, prevention, recovery and government.“We’d like to encourage anyone who wants to help end opioid use in Cape May County to attend.” said Temerity Berry, Cape Assist Director of Prevention Services, “When you come together as a group, you can truly make a difference.”In 2016, the most recent year in which complete data is available, 32 people in Cape May County died of drug overdoses — a majority of which were opioid-related — according to the New Jersey Office of the State Medical Examiner. The rate of 3.39 overdose deaths per 1,000 persons represented the sixth highest among New Jersey’s 21 counties.Speakers will include:State Senator Jeff Van DrewCape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. SutherlandDr. Domenic Coletta, Chief Doctor of the Emergency Room – Cape Regional Medical CenterTemerity Berry, Director of Prevention Services – Cape AssistKathryn Gibson, Substance Use Navigator – Cape AssistTonia Ahern, Family Advocate – Mental Health Association in New Jersey and Parent-To-ParentTo register for the event, contact Temerity Berry with Cape Assist at 609-522-5960 or [email protected] A dedicated website, knockoutopioidabuse.drugfreenj.org, includes the full schedule of countywide town hall meetings and registration information.Knockoutopioidabuse.drugfreenj.org also provides local, county and state substance abuse prevention and treatment resources available.Best known for its statewide anti-drug advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication. To date, more than $100 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception, the Partnership has garnered 166 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.