The Ocean County Health Department, in partnership with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, recognizes August 31, 2018 as International Overdose Awareness Day. International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event which aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.
“This day serves as a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness about overdose prevention,” says Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “Ocean County residents are urged to have a conversation about overdose prevention and discuss the many resources that exist in our local community,” adds Freeholder Director Little.
International Overdose Awareness Day, themed “Time to Remember, Time to Act” for 2018, spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. It acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
“No community is immune to overdose,” says Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator. “The Ocean County Health Department is committed to raising awareness about overdose prevention, reducing stigma, providing innovative programs to assist residents and providing education on prevention, treatment and recovery,” Regenye explains.
Ocean County has had the most admissions into substance use treatment facilities since 2013 comprising of approximately 10% of all New Jersey admissions. To date, Ocean County has experienced 114 overdose deaths which is the reason that the Ocean County Health Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office provide important programming to the community.
The Ocean County Health Department’s Alcohol and Drug Unit helps provide education of treatment resources and navigation of the substance use continuum of care. Staff are available to answer any questions that a family or a person seeking treatment may have and can be reached by called 732-341-9700 x7535. Additionally, Ocean County Health Department staff are available to provide substance abuse prevention programming to the community. For programming, please call the Health Education division at 732-341-9700 x7233.
Visit us at www.ochd.org to learn more about what the OCHD does or www.phu2.org to learn more about personal public health initiatives you can take!
Beyond the services offered by the Ocean County Health Department, the Office of the Ocean County Prosecutor continues to grow and find success with the “Blue HART” (Heroin Addiction Recovery Treatment) Program. Today, Ocean County police departments in Brick Township, Lacey Township, Little Egg Harbor, Manchester Township, Ocean Gate, Point Pleasant Borough, Stafford Township and Surf City Police participate in providing critical addiction recovery help. In the near future, Toms River Police Department and others will join the program.
Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato stated, “Since January 2017, “Blue HART” has helped 373 individuals to successfully fight the curse of addiction. Our program, combined with the services of the Ocean County Health Department, leads the state in providing several lifesaving options to Ocean County residents who are fighting and seeking addiction help.”
For additional information on the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Blue HART Program go to: https://tinyurl.com/y7dco9g6.