BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The abusive use of heroin, opioids, prescription drugs and marijuana is a growing problem in New Jersey's suburbs including Somerset County and the Somerset County School Nurse Association (SCSNA) recognizes that early diagnosis and treatment of drug abuse by students is paramount to student health and well being.
The association arranged and sponsored a conference for county school nurses last month and the professional development presentation was arranged by Bridgewater school nurse Lisa Mantz and SCSNA Vice President and Warren Middle School nurse, Lisa Lontai.
This conference, held at the Bridgewater Township Municipal Building was something that SCSNA current President Carolyn Seracka felt was important for the School Nurses to be aware of. Queenie Reda from the Somerset Treatment Services was also in attendance and provided information for the School Nurses on Free Narcan training available to them and others in the community.
Officer Kennedy and Officer DiGraziano from the Bridgewater Police Department presented information to the nurses on how they can help assist in fighting the war on drugs. The officers discussed assessment and drug identification techniques as well as information on what drugs are most prevalent in our communities.
Alyssa Cariani MA, LAC from Carrier Clinic discussed therapeutic options for those adolescents who are recovering from an addiction and offered techniques for the nurses when dealing with this population.
Senator Kip Bateman, Mayor Daniel Hayes and Police Chief Manuel Caravela were all in attendance to speak about the importance of community and school involvement in fighting this war on drugs. Senator Bateman who sponsored the legislation to increase the Standards for School Nurse Certification was excited to see the School Nurses in Somerset County taking on this important cause.