Health & Wellness

Rutgers Helps NJ Tackle Opioid Epidemic

dc0f1986a9f01e7a9266_sompixrutgersopioidabusekit.jpg
dc0f1986a9f01e7a9266_sompixrutgersopioidabusekit.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - With opioid drug overdoses becoming a growing national health crisis, Rutgers experts have created a toolkit to help communities across New Jersey combat the deadly problem.

Students, faculty and clinicians at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers recently launched the Opioid Abuse Toolkit: Resources for New Jersey Communities. This free toolkit includes a step-by-step guide to plan and execute various community initiatives and provides resources for those struggling with opioid addiction disorders, directly or indirectly.

“We developed this turnkey tool for organizations to use to increase awareness and provide educational resources to address this opioid crisis,” said Saira Jan, a Rutgers clinical professor of pharmacy who led the initiative.

Sign Up for E-News

In New Jersey, as the opioid epidemic continues to grow, 1,454 people died of drug overdoses in 2015, a 16 percent increase from 2014.

The Rutgers team compiled the toolkit from a number of sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens and Operation Prevention.

“This is an excellent resource for community members who want to help share the best information about opioid abuse prevention and addiction treatment options for people in need,” said Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

The toolkit also includes supplemental posters and presentations that are available for download at no cost and can be adapted for any community group’s needs. They cover topics including:

- increasing awareness through social media;

- administering naloxone in cases of overdose;

- setting up and advertising for drug take-back events;

- providing resources for parents and teens;

- training volunteers on the opioid epidemic.

The 49-page toolkit has seven sections, which walk users through event-planning basics, community outreach initiatives, drug overdose prevention and resources for dealing with addiction, and outreach at schools for all grade levels. With the help of the toolkit, for example, community organizers can plan a “Drug Take-Back Day” with local authorities for unwanted and unused prescription drugs, educate real estate agents about securing prescription drugs during open house tours, and learn what to do in case of an opioid overdose.

“The pharmacy school aims to increase education about this major health issue with this wide-ranging toolkit,” said Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy Dean Joseph Barone.

The toolkit and supplemental posters, presentations, pamphlets and additional resources can be found on the pharmacy school website.

“We want to get as much good information out to as many people in New Jersey as possible,” Jan said.

The Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy team partnered with Community in Crisis, a nonprofit organization that works within the Somerset Hills community to fight the heroin/opiate crisis and prevent overdose deaths, to create this toolkit. Community in Crisis’s action plan stemmed from a New Jersey governor’s report in 2014 on the heroin and opiate epidemic.

The newly released toolkit is one of several Rutgers initiatives focused on addiction prevention and treatment, including free training for New Jersey police departments, continuing education for addiction and behavioral health professionals, and the Recovery House living space for students who are recovering from addiction. Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care manages New Jersey's 24/7 substance abuse hotline.

The NJ Addiction Services Hotline has made more than 15,500 referrals to treatment providers.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Edison

Holy Savior Academy Excels in the Arts - Annual Spring Musical, Art Show to Take Place in May

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The students and staff at Holy Savior Academy, a pre-K3 through eighth grade AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, have been busy gearing up for two widely anticipated spring events. In May, the drama club will present its 4th annual Spring Spectacular Musical and a school wide art show will also take ...

Hospital ER Expands as Caseload Jumps to More than 100,000 Annually

April 24, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - More than 100,000 patients come through the emergency department at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, up from the approximately 40,000 cases that came through the doors less than 20 years ago.

 

"Spaces that were designed for one patient now have had two," said Dr. Robert Eisenstein, the hospital chief of emergency care. Obviously the number of ...

Stories About Juvenile Death Row Inmates Featured in New “Docu-play”

April 13, 2018

HIGHLAND PARK, NJ - The United States is apparently the only country in the world where children are given death sentences.

A new documentary play by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg titled Life, Death, and Life Again: Children Sentenced to Die in Prison is being performed with coLAB Arts at the Reformed Church in Highland Park. The play will tell the true stories of people who committed violent ...

Free Programs and Resources for People with Diabetes Offered in Edison

April 25, 2018

Are you a person with Medicare living with diabetes or know someone who is? Take control of your health through a free and fun six-week workshop series.

Meet others going through similar experiences and learn about diabetes and its risks, preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, medication management, dealing with stress and depression, action planning, and much more. Graduates from ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...