It’s an Alarming Fact!
February 19, 2019
March 29, 2019





(Toms River) – The Ocean County Health Department recently released the 2018 annual report by the Ocean County Overdose Fatality Review Pilot Program (OC-OFRP). The main mission of the OC-OFRPP is to construct a profile and examine a person’s collective history with the hope to better understand their substance abuse disorder and overdose.  This valuable information, or “social autopsy,” will empower county agencies and health providers to develop new programming and change policy that can lead to reduced numbers of addiction and overdose deaths in Ocean County.


Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) says, “With the OCHD acting as the lead agency, the Overdose Fatality Review Pilot Program is a collaborative effort that includes cooperation and resources from numerous agencies including the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas of New York/New Jersey, the New Jersey Drug Enforcement Administration and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Additionally, we are forever grateful for all the time and effort by all the private partners and entities and their dedicated involvement with the program.”


Daniel E. Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator explains, “We are calling it a social autopsy because we are studying each decedent’s profile to learn how such things as when drug use began, medical background, family issues, criminal history and environment.  There is so much beneficial information that ultimately will drive new program development, changes in policy, and increased access to prevention, treatment and recovery.”


The “social autopsy” started with 58 cases being reviewed in 2018. Ages ranged from 18 to 67, with 66% being male and 34% women. Other vital statistics included in the report;


  • 66% were reported to have poor health.
  • 57% were linked to substance abuse treatment
  • 57% had a known criminal history
  • 22% had been convicted of DUI
  • 55% were known IV users
  • 52% diagnosed or linked to mental health


This sample of information, along with countywide data collection efforts, will eventually be included in a comprehensive county opioid report that will provide accounts and context around circumstances associated with abuse and overdose specific to Ocean County.


Kimberly L. Reilly,  OCHD Chief of Administrative Services details, “Information can now be used for providers in our communities to have open and honest conversations about the gaps and barriers within the system, and now how to fix those issues. The ultimate objective is to have another tool in our kit to try and save as many lives as possible from addiction and overdose.”


If you have any questions regarding this the Ocean County Overdose Fatality Review Pilot Program please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like us on Facebook. Also, please check out our new website at, to access and learn more about our Public Health is You Too! campaign to help equip you to take simple steps to improve your health.