Opioid Task Force
Opioids are a class of drugs which include illicit drugs like heroin, as well as prescription medications like morphine or oxycodone. Taken in the wrong dosage, opioid drugs can be lethal. The number of Union County residents who died from an opioid overdose rose from 45 in 2013, to 98 in 2016¹. These trends mirror state and national trends, and in 2017 the United States.
Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency.²
In response to this crisis, in 2016 a subcommittee of the Health and Wellness Coalition of Union County (HAWC) was established. The Opioid Task Force has brought together county and local law enforcement, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, the County Department of Human Services, County Department of Health, the Office of Emergency Management, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, each of the three hospitals in the county, local treatment providers, individuals in recovery, and other concerned citizens.
The following are some of the ongoing initiatives of the Opioid Taskforce:
- Publication and dissemination of an up-to-date Opioid Resource Guide
- Expansion of the availability of naloxone (an opioid overdose antidote drug)
- Increasing access to substance use disorder treatment and recovery support for county residents
- Educating and supporting families who are impacted by the opioid epidemic
- Educating the community about responsible medication disposal and storage
- Ongoing monitoring and analysis of opioid-related indicators, including naloxone deployment by first responders, quantities of opioid prescriptions, overdose deaths, and more through the Task Force’s Quarterly Dashboard
To learn more about the Opioid Task Force, and to be notified of upcoming meetings, sign up for our mailing list.
121-125 Chestnut Street Suite 301,
3rd Floor Roselle, New Jersey 07203