Mercer County residents are encouraged to join the conversation on the statewide opioid epidemic when the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey bring the Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall series to the county later this month.
The town hall, which is free of charge to the public, will be held from 6:30-8:30pm on Wednesday, May 23, at The College of New Jersey, School of Education, Room #212, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08628. Doors will open at 6pm for registration. The event is offered in collaboration with Mercer County, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, The College of New Jersey and the Mercer Council.
“It is vital that residents join the conversation at the Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall to better understand the disease of addiction and to share their concerns and ideas on how to address this issue,” said Angelo Valente, executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. “This epidemic has affected every community in New Jersey. Only by coming together can we effectively explore solutions to address the opioid crisis.”
The series, which began in 2017 and has been hosted in 15 counties, focuses on the link between prescription opioid dependency and heroin use and examines the causes and possible solutions of the opioid crisis from several perspectives, including law enforcement, government, the medical community, prevention, treatment and recovery.
In 2016, the most recent year in which complete data is available, 59 people died of drug overdoses in Mercer County, according to the New Jersey Office of the State Medical Examiner. Of those deaths, 33 involved heroin while 21 were fentanyl-related.
Speakers will include:
- Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri
- Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson
- Barbara Sprechman, Assistant Executive Director – Mercer Council
- Dr. Stuart Roe, Chairperson – Department of Counselor Education at TCNJ
- Dr. Rachael Evans, Chief Medical Officer – Henry J. Austin Health Center
- Barrett Young, Chief Operating Officer –Rescue Mission of Trenton
A dedicated website, knockoutopioidabuse.drugfreenj.org, includes the full schedule of countywide town hall meetings and registration information. Knockoutopioidabuse.drugfreenj.org also provides local, county and state substance abuse prevention and treatment resources available.