Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Leads in Fight Against Rx Opioid Misuse

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Teaming Up To Fight Against Rx Misuse

Butler Pharmacy in Point Pleasant is one of many pharmacies in Ocean County sharing opioid safety and awareness messages on bags created by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and distributed by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office
(OCPO). From left: OCPO Agent Michael Colwell, PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente,
Butler Pharmacy owner Tracye Steel, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer, and Point
Pleasant Borough Police Chief Adam Picca
Butler Pharmacy in Point Pleasant is one of many pharmacies in Ocean County sharing opioid safety and awareness messages on bags created by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and distributed by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office (OCPO). From left: OCPO Agent Michael Colwell, PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente, Butler Pharmacy owner Tracye Steel, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer, and Point Pleasant Borough Police Chief Adam Picca

Toms River, New Jersey, Dec. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer is on a mission to protect the residents of his county from prescription opioid dependency and addiction through education and awareness.

Prosecutor Billhimer has partnered with The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey to ensure lifesaving messages are getting into residents’ hands — and heads.

Throughout 2022, Prosecutor Billhimer has provided scholarships to 500 doctors and dentists in Ocean County to learn about safe opioid prescribing strategies, becoming the first prosecutor’s office in the state to bring this program directly to its residents. To date 363,520 Ocean County residents have been impacted by the education that reflects both Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and New Jersey state education requirements.

“The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has been a trusted ally in our ongoing battle against opioid abuse,” Prosecutor Billhimer said. “We are always looking for opportunities to leverage our resources when it comes to opioid education and substance abuse prevention. This unique approach, providing continuing medical education credits to prescribers is a natural intersection for law enforcement and the medical community. This collaborative approach is essential in our seemingly never-ending battle against opioid abuse.”

Most recently, Prosecutor Billhimer has focused on collaborating with the local business community to get lifesaving information on opioids into the hands of residents by organizing their participation in Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day (KOOAD) and sharing educational and awareness materials directly with their customers. Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day is a permanent day of prevention, education and awareness to shine a light on the opioid epidemic that continues to plague New Jersey.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office also worked with over 20 local businesses throughout the county to distribute opioid education materials that were shared with customers in shopping bags, on pizza boxes, with dry-cleaning hangers and more.

“No one is immune from the opioid epidemic, and the Prosecutor’s efforts to get this important information into the hands of residents in the places they visit in the local community is helping to save lives,” said Angelo Valente, executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.  “Prosecutor Billhimer and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office have been a tremendous partner of PDFNJ in the effort to address the opioid epidemic in New Jersey and a model of a successful collaboration that truly benefits the residents of Ocean County.”

In Ocean County, from January through September 2022, there were 582 naloxone administrations to reverse opioid overdoses and 137 suspected overdose deaths.

 

Interview Opportunities Available

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Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey: Best known for its statewide substance use prevention advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication.  To date, more than $200 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception, the Partnership has garnered 217 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.

 

 

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CONTACT: Natalie Golub Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey 9733824560 natalie@drugfreenj.org