MILLBURN, NJ — Those in recovery from opioid addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic can be facing a very challenging situation. This time at home can be isolating and difficult, especially for those working to stay drug-free. In order to provide continued support to those in recovery as well as their family and friends, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey have planned a free town hall webinar on from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday, April 30, to provide support to those in recovery.

Mariel Hufnagel, MPA, CPRS, and Executive Director of the Ammon Foundation will be the featured speaker, discussing ways for those in recovery to navigate through this stressful time, as well what family members and friends can do to help.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, through its philanthropic arm, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, has been collaborating with PDFNJ on a two-year Knock Out Opioid Abuse initiative to address the opioid epidemic through community outreach, prescriber education, parent education and a statewide awareness campaign. The Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall Series brings experts on the opioid epidemic from various fields, including law enforcement, the medical community, government, prevention, treatment and recovery together for events in communities in all 21 New Jersey counties.

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“We recognize that drug addiction and recovery is not something that can be quarantined,” states Angelo Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ. “The opioid epidemic rages on during this pandemic, and while our town hall events are on hold, it is more important than ever that we continue to keep these conversations going and provide support to those in recovery, family and friends.”

In 2019 in New Jersey, there were 3,021 suspected deaths from drug overdoses, 15,104 naloxone administrations, and 3,990,809 opioid prescriptions dispensed. 

“Through the Town Hall Series we have been able to create statewide conversations on how to combat the opioid epidemic,” says Jonathan R. Pearson, Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. “This town hall webinar will provide support to those in recovery from the terrible battle with opioid addiction, and we are thrilled to work with PDFNJ to reach those throughout the state who may need support at this time.”

People may register for the free webinar at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PFukTymOSXGTjoLm52WjMg.

To learn more about the Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall Series and to view past town hall events, please visit https://knockoutopioidabuse.drugfreenj.org.

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