Union County residents can learn about the local impacts of the national opioid crisis first-hand from representatives of the Union County Prosecutor, Sheriff, Police Division and other professionals by attending a free public meeting hosted by the Public Safety Committee of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders titled, The Opioid Epidemic: Silently Affecting Our Community.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 21, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the McManus School auditorium, at 300 Edgewood Road in Linden. Admission is free and no pre-registration is required.

“Opioid abuse impacts the entire community, and that is why we are providing the public with an open discussion about the scope and nature of opioid abuse in Union County, and an assessment of the tools that are available to fight it,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “I encourage all concerned citizens to come and learn how public resources are deployed to fight this epidemic.”

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“Although the most recent numbers are encouraging, now is the time to bear down and get to the root of the crisis,” said Freeholder Christopher Hudak, who is the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. “We are looking forward to hearing from professionals on the front lines of the battle against opioid abuse, and sharing this information with the public.”

The Opioid Epidemic: Silently Affecting Our Community will include:

  • Overview of facts and trends about the opioid epidemic in Union County
  • Details about the County Prosecutor’s Operation Helping Hands program and CLEAR, a collaborative program including the Union County Department of Public Safety, the Office of the Union County Sheriff, the nonprofit organization Prevention Links, and the Union County Department of Human Services
  • Prevention Links presentation on prevention, treatment and recovery featuring personal stories and Recovery Coaches
  • Information on Naloxone lifesaving assistance presented by First Responders
  • Office of the Union County Sheriff K-9 demonstration and discussion about the impact of fentanyl on drug detection
  • Discussion of statewide efforts to combat the opioid epidemic by representatives from the New Jersey Department of Health and Department of Human Services

A question and answer period will follow the presentations.

For more information contact Karen Dinsmore, Assistant Director, Union County Department of Human Services, kdinsmore@ucnj.org or 908-527-4809.