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New Drug Abuse Programs in Middlesex County Supported by State Officials
State officials are focusing on supporting new drug abuse programs in Middlesex County as well as promoting mental health and addiction awareness.
By: Addiction Now
The program implemented last month looked to promoted dialogues about the national opioid epidemic by requiring middle school students' guardians to attend an opioid seminar before they received tickets to their kids' graduation.
State officials said that the program is one of many initiatives that have been recently prompted by the impact that drug abuse has had on the region and its educational system.
Monroe Township, which is the residence of 42,137 of the 830,300 people of Middlesex County, has been severely affected by drug abuse.
Monroe Township Councilman Charles Dipierro said: "Drugs have impacted Middlesex and Monroe over the last few years with increased overdoses, addictions and prescriptions. The sector most affected would be our schools. We have hired 16 security officers. We have eight schools; the 16 security officers and we have nine retired police officers."
Dipierro added: "The mayor and council have decided to hire one police officer per school for the last two months for public safety and school safety. They hired motivational speakers to educate the students. Police get involved with students and teachers."
Data from the NJ Cares show that the whole county has been affected — just this year Middlesex County has had over 50 suspected drug overdose deaths, 144 naloxone administrations and dispensed 82,895 opioid prescriptions.
The New Jersey Regional Operations & Intelligence Center recently showed that. in 2017, the state's law enforcement officials reversed almost 500 opioid overdoses by using naloxone across Middlesex County.
"The impact is a negative impact as our police is increasing staff as well," Dipierro said. "Monroe just added six more police officers for a total of 59 in our 42 square mile township."
The recent data pushed local policymakers as well as organizations to strive to do more.
The Middlesex County Office of Human Services started sponsoring activities like first-response training lessons and organizations, such as the Board of Chosen Freeholder, will be focusing on curbing the stigma related to addiction.
The Middlesex County Sheriff's Department has supported a modern implementation of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education and hosted sessions for students in sixth and fifth grades.
The Sheriff recently announced that Middlesex will now be having a summer program for these students, which will include DARE training sessions with junior police academy lessons.
Furthermore, Saint Peter's University Hospital has been hosting free drug abuse programs for the Middlesex school district and will now start to expand addiction awareness in the area.