More than 2,000 Volunteers to Participate in New Jersey’s Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2017

Contact: Matt Birchenough, 201-916-1032,


More than 2,000 Volunteers to Participate in New Jersey’s Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day

MILLBURN, N.J. — An estimated 2,000-plus volunteers are expected to distribute hundreds of thousands of opioid misuse prevention messages as part of next month’s statewide Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day.

The October 6 event mobilizes volunteers to hand out vital information about potential dependency on prescribed pain medicine and the link to heroin abuse. The effort, which has drawn volunteers from each of New Jersey’s 21 counties, will concentrate on a two-pronged approach: informing physicians and raising awareness among residents and families

“Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day is an opportunity to engage New Jersey’s medical community and families about safe prescribing and non-addictive alternatives to acute and chronic pain,” said Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. “We need to educate all residents and all prescribers with the most current research and protocols that, if implemented, will save lives and protect families.”

Teams of volunteers will visit physician and dentist offices in their communities and deliver copies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for prescribing. Meanwhile, other groups will canvass neighborhoods, placing door hangers with critical information on opioid abuse on front doors of homes.

Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day is a project of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, in cooperation with the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services; and the Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris. The New Jersey Senate and General Assembly responded following the inaugural event in 2016 by unanimously approving joint legislation designating October 6 in perpetuity as Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day in New Jersey. 

The initiative has received support from municipalities, school districts and police departments throughout the state, and several communities have scheduled related events on and around October 6 to further spread awareness of the opioid epidemic.

Opioid pain relievers that are abused are most often obtained via prescription from physicians, and users of prescription drugs are 40 times more likely to use heroin, according to the CDC. More than 33,000 people in the United States died of opioid overdoses in 2015, and the number of such deaths quadrupled from 1999 to 2015.

“With the epidemic levels of opioid abuse impacting our state, the time to educate and raise awareness is now,” Valente said.

To register for Knock Out Opioid Abuse, visit Interview and photo opportunities with volunteers in your communities can be arranged.


Best known for its statewide anti-drug 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 $70 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 166 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.