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

Milltown/Spotswood

Rutgers Takes Over Police Dispatch Services

June 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University will provide the city’s police dispatching services in a move that New Brunswick says will cut costs and put an end to dispatcher shortages that resulted in officers doing the job.

The city’s 12 current dispatchers will be laid off at the end of the day on June 30, and Rutgers will supply dispatchers as of July 1 under an agreement that city ...

Thousands Expected in Hillsborough for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Middlesex County: Free Music, Fireworks and Fun in “A Revolutionary Celebration”

June 22, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ -  Want your 4th of July fun to last 7 days? Then bring your family and join in Middlesex County’s “Revolutionary Celebration” for 2018! Our Office of Arts and History has planned events for June 30 and July 1-7 that are fun, educational, and a great way to honor the spirit of Independence Day. Explore Highland Park, New ...

More than the Fourth of July, Make it a Star Spangled Week in the Long Beach Island Region of NJ

June 22, 2018

STAFFORD AND LONG BEACH ISLAND - Summer 2018 starts now, so time to enjoy the beauty of the Jersey Shore. As families and friends gather for the summer holiday, there is plenty of options to assist in rounding out July 4 vacation and getaways.

With July 4 falling on a Wednesday, there are many events surrounding the holiday.

The award winning Surf and Sip Brew Trail itinerary is available ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...