Families Challenged to Help Knock Out Opioid Abuse Nov. 9

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MILLBURN - New Jersey pharmacy experts will outline the profession’s key role in addressing the opioid epidemic amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in an upcoming Knock Out Opioid Abuse Webinar hosted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

According to a release, the webinar, titled “Pharmacists: On the Front Line of the Opioid Crisis During the COVID Pandemic,” will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 19, in collaboration with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator of Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (NJ CARES) and Garden State Pharmacy Owners Inc.

“Pharmacists play a vital role in helping to address the opioid epidemic ravaging the state,” PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente stated. “As trusted members of their communities, pharmacists help educate residents about the dangers of prescription opioids.”

Webinar speakers will include Anthony Rubinaccio, executive director of the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy; Dr. Saira Jan, vice president and chief pharmacy officer for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey; and Dr. Michael J. Avaltroni, dean of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.

The webinar will be the sixth in a collaborative series between PDFNJ, Horizon and NJ CARES, expanding the originally planned four-part series that focused on various aspects of the convergence of the opioid epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, through its philanthropic arm, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, has been collaborating with PDFNJ on a two-year Knock Out Opioid Abuse initiative to address the opioid epidemic through community outreach, prescriber education, parent education and a statewide awareness campaign.  

The Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall Series brings experts on the opioid epidemic from various fields, including law enforcement, the medical community, government, prevention, treatment and recovery together for events throughout the state. PDFNJ and Horizon have expanded the initiative in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a webinar series to help continue the conversation about the opioid crisis.

Through August, nearly 2,300 people in New Jersey died from suspected drug overdoses in 2020, a vast majority of which involved some form of opioid.

To learn more about the Knock Out Opioid Abuse initiative and to register for the webinar, please visit knockoutopioidabuse.drugfreenj.org.

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