Health & Wellness

Rutgers Helps NJ Tackle Opioid Epidemic


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


East Brunswick's Girl Scouts Work With Young Woman's Busy Schedule

March 22, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Have you wanted to join a Girl Scout troop, but just don't have the time? Check out this out. Busy teens can be Independent Girl Scouts -- all the programs and awards without the scheduled troop meetings. Teen girls can do badge work, attend events, travel, earn awards or do community service on their own time. (And ...

Hillsborough: Petitions For and Against APEX Sports Facility Circulate Online

March 22, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The public’s response to  a pair of online petitions for and against the proposed APEX Sports & Events facility are running 10 to 1 in favor of the 210,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor athletic complex, proposed for a 40-acre site on Mountain View Road adjacent to the 369-acre Mountain View Park.

In addition to three lighted, outdoor synthetic turf athletic ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Sun, March 25, 3:00 PM

Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown

New Jersey Ballet's Hansel & Gretel

ELCR to Host Webinar: ‘How to Use and Understand ELCR’s 'Horse-Friendly Zoning Practices in American Communities'

March 22, 2018

LEXINGTON, KY — Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR), in partnership with My Horse University, announced a new webinar “How to Use and Understand ELCR’s “Horse-Friendly Zoning Practices in American Communities” guide. Author and planner Christine Hughes, AICP, will show viewers how to navigate and use the new guide.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, March ...

Travel Spotlight - Have You Ever Been to a Midwestern Steel Mill Bar? If not, we have a place for you.

March 22, 2018

TAPintoTravels - As New Yorkers, we depend on one forgotten resource and that is steel.  It holds up our buildings, decorates our homes, and keeps the prisoners on Rikers Island.

As part of our series on the North Coast (or North Shore for our New Jersey readers), we are highlighting great stop points to rest the feet and get the kids out of the car.  In this case, we are ...

Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...