ROXBURY, NJ – The Roxbury Police Department is co-sponsoring an April 26 symposium where law enforcement officials will publicly discuss the opioid and heroin epidemic and how to stop it.
The discussion will take place at Roxbury High School starting at 7 p.m. and will include a question-and-answer segment.
“More than 33,000 Americans – about 91 a day - died from opioid overdoses in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,” said a statement by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. “Morris County is hardly immune from the growing epidemic as fatal opiate overdoses in the county rose from 43 in 2015 to 64 in 2016.”
The prosecutor’s office said there have been at least 23 overdoses in less than four months, “a pace that would exceed last year’s total.” It said it is “determined to raise awareness of the opioid and heroin epidemic and how to stop it by participating in ongoing public programs” such as the one planned for Roxbury.
“By raising public consciousness of this heroin-opioid epidemic, it is our hope to stem the tide of addiction and related deaths,” Morris County Prosecutor Frederic Knapp said in the statement.
At the symposium, Knapp will be joined by Chief Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Bradford Seabury, head of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division. Seabury will talk about the latest statistics and discuss the ways illicit drugs are distributed and sold.
He will also describe how addiction can start and ways to combat it. “The numbers are sobering,” said the prosecutor’s office. “The United States has 4.6 percent of the world’s population, but consumes approximately 80 percent of the world’s opioids.”
A new state law limits doctors to providing first-time patients with only a 5-day supply of opioid prescriptions, said the prosecutor’s office. “The limit is significant, because experts say addiction often begins when patients are proscribed far more opiates for pain than they need,” it explained.
Additional sponsors of the symposium are the Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris and C.A.R.E.S.