NEW JERSEY—New Jersey residents are preparing to spread awareness and prevention information regarding the opioid crisis on October 6, a day Governor Phil Murphy recently commemorated as Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day in New Jersey.

New Jersey residents are encouraged to participate in this single-day statewide initiative by distributing door hangers containing important information about the dangers of opioids throughout their neighborhoods, as well as safe-prescriber guides to their local physicians and pharmacies.

“Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day is an opportunity to educate residents and medical professionals on the most current research and to encourage prescribers to implement safer prescribing methods in their practices.” said Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.

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There are also various events held throughout the state for Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day, including ceremonies and walks, to both memorialize those who have struggled with substance use disorder and to promote prevention methods necessary for curtailing the opioid crisis.

More than 10,000 New Jersey residents participated in last year’s event.

In its fourth year, Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day is a project of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, in cooperation with the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services; and the Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris, with help from thousands of volunteers across the state.

In 2018, there were a total of 3,118 opioid overdose deaths in the state. An estimated 1,387 opioid overdose deaths have been reported as of June 2019, according to NJCares.gov.

 “The disease of addiction does not discriminate; it sees no race, age, or socioeconomic status,” Valente said. “With opioid dependency and overdose deaths impacting our state at an epidemic level, the time to educate and raise awareness is now.”

Individuals can request materials and get involved in Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day in New Jersey by visiting drugfreenj.org/knockoutvolunteers/ or calling 973-467-2100.