Calvary Baptist Church Hosting Opioid Abuse Town Hall

May 09, 2018

If you think Ocean County is immune to the opioid crisis sweeping the country, think again. According to the New Jersey Office of the State Medical Examiner, 2,221 people died from drug overdoses in the state in 2016, with the majority of those victims having heroin or fentanyl in their systems; 253 of those victims died in Ocean County.

Preliminary figures for Ocean County for 2017, released by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, were better, with “only” 163 fatal overdoses. But compare that to the figures for another common killer – auto accident fatalities.

According to preliminary figures compiled by the New Jersey State Police, there were 636 auto accident-related deaths in the state in 2017. Ocean County had the most of any county in the state, checking in with 54.

Traffic accidents are reported in newspapers. OD deaths, respecting the privacy of victims, usually are not. People drive by accident scenes where ambulance workers are loading victims; OD victims usually die out of the public’s eye. So the number of OD deaths in the county, even if better than in 2016, might shock many.

You can learn more about the problem on Thursday, May 17, at the Calvary Baptist Church, located at 850 Railroad Drive in Little Egg Harbor, where the church and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office are sponsoring a “Knock Out Opioid Abuse” Town Hall. The free event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. with the doors opening for registration at 5:30. —R.M.

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