Governor Phil Murphy officially made Oct. 6 Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day.

Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day is a statewide project created by 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 partners across the state.

The event features parents, prevention and treatment professionals, community leaders, students and other concerned residents throughout New Jersey who spend the day distributing crucial information in an effort to spread education and awareness of the risks of prescription opioids and their link to heroin use. All residents in the state who are interested in helping raise awareness and eliminate stigma are encouraged to participate. Residents can visit www.drugfreenj.org to find out how to get involved.

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More than 10,000 volunteers participated in Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day last year, distributing materials on safe prescribing practices to healthcare providers, as well as door hangers to residents in neighborhoods throughout the state. Also featured in the event are charity walks, candlelight vigils, and songwriting contests to spread messages of prevention and recovery.

As of June 30, 1,387 people in New Jersey have died of a drug overdose in 2019, a majority of which were opioid related. Last year, there were over 3,000 overdose deaths throughout the state, according to the Office of the Attorney General’s NJ CARES program.

“Education is a vital step in preventing the tragedy of overdose deaths and addiction that has already affected far too many New Jersey families and communities,” said Angelo Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. “With Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day now signed into law, we can continue to make significant progress against the opioid epidemic.”