RANDOLPH, NJ- More than 33,000 Americans, about 91 a day, died from opioid overdoses in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Morris County is hardly immune from the growing epidemic as fatal opiate overdoses in the county this year have increased significantly over the 2016 total.
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp is determined to raise awareness of the opioid and heroin epidemic and how to stop it by participating in ongoing public programs.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 7:00pm
Randolph High School Auditorium
As of "late August," 59 individuals have died in 2017 in Morris County because of opioid overdoses. That compares to 32 who died during a corresponding time last year.
“By raising public consciousness of this heroin-opioid epidemic, it is our hope to stem the tide of addiction and related deaths,” Knapp said.
Held in conjunction with municipal police departments and local anti-drug groups, the symposiums are designed to highlight the devastating impact heroin and prescription opiates can have on families and communities. All are welcome to attend.
The programs are presented by Knapp and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Bradford Seabury, head of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division. Seabury details the latest national and local statistics and delves into how illicit drugs are distributed and sold in the United States. He also describes how addiction can start and ways to combat it.
The numbers are sobering. The United States has 4.6 percent of the world’s population, but consumes approximately 80 percent of the world’s opioids. The presentations are valuable for both students and their parents.
The proactive approach of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office coincides with state efforts to combat opioid addiction.
A law signed earlier this year by Gov. Chris Christie limits physicians to providing first time patients with only a five-day supply of opioid prescriptions. The limit is significant, because experts say addiction often begins when patients are proscribed far more opiates for pain than they need.
In addition to a presentation by Seabury, the program features a question and answer session with Municipal Judge Ira Cohen, James Gannon, Morris County Sheriff, Dr. Domenick Sportelli of New Jersey Center for Advanced Psychiatry, Linda Witzal, Vice President, Board of Pharmacy, Barbara Kauffman, Director of Prevention Services, Alton Robinson, and staff of Morris County Prevention is Key, CARES and the Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris, and the Randolph Police Department.