nj.com: The numbers are in, and it doesn't look good


(Chart provided)
By Community Bulletin 
on March 24, 2017 at 2:18 PM, updated March 24, 2017 at 2:19 PM

SALEM COUNTY -- The opiate epidemic has spread through New Jersey and Salem County is not exempt. According to the N.J. Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services there were 555 Salem resident substance abuse admissions in 2015, of which 255 were for heroin or other opiates, exceeding the runner up, alcohol, by more than double.

For a county of a population having around 65,000, these numbers are staggering. The growing addiction problem contributes to Salem having the highest premature death rate in the state and trending consistently above the U.S. average, according to countyhealthrankings.org, which measures data points like years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 population.  

For these impassioned reasons The Southwest Council, Inc. a non-profit agency providing substance abuse prevention, education, and treatment services in Salem, Cumberland, and Gloucester, has partnered with the Salem County Prosecutor's Office and Salem Community College to host the Do No Harm opiate education symposium presented by The Partnership for Drug Free New Jersey during the college's Nursing Program Career Day at Salem Community College on Wednesday, March 29.

The three-hour event at Salem Community College in Carneys Point is open to local prescribers and any community member looking for education about the current opioid epidemic, at no cost. Registration, which is required, begins at 11:30 a.m., with presentation from noon to 3 p.m., light refreshments provided. Interested parties can register at: drugfreenj.org/donoharm or contact Donald Noblett, SCRATCH Coalition Coordinator, 856-794-1011, ext. 316, donald@southwestcouncil.org with questions.