Saint Peter’s Continues to Tackle Opioid Epidemic

March 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.: Saint Peter’s Healthcare System is offering two free community education programs as part of an ongoing multidisciplinary initiative to address the opioid epidemic. The first, “Community Perspectives on the Opioid Epidemic: What You Need to Know,” has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 3, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Sister Marie de Pazzi Conference Center, ground floor of the hospital, 254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, N.J. The second, “The Opioid Crisis: Getting on the Road to Recovery,” will be held on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at the same location and time. Complimentary boxed dinners will be served at both events.
The March event will overview drug trends, red flags and warning signs, and law enforcement’s role. Jean Stevenson will share her personal story of her daughter’s death from an overdose. Other speakers include Dr. Tejal Mehta, a pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Linda Carroll, RN-BC, MSN, vice president of Patient Care Services and
chief nursing officer, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, and John Zebrowski, Sayreville chief of police.
The April event will feature addicts in recovery, and information about inpatient and outpatient programs. There also will be a speaker from Family Support Services.
“New Jersey is confronting a staggering public health crisis brought about by prescription opioid abuse,” said Linda Carroll. “This is an epidemic that knows no economic, racial or geographic limits, and it’s one we must fight with education and resources.”
Opioids are derived from the opium poppy or are available in synthetic form, both used for pain relief. Popular opioids include codeine; morphine; hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab); Oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin), oxymorphone (Opana); methadone; Demerol; Fentanyl; Loperamide (Imodium), and heroin. Prescription pain medication is the nation’s fastest-growing public health crisis, with more than 9 million people in the U.S. using prescription medications for non-medical uses.
The March and April events are part of Saint Peter’s continued effort to tackle the opioid crisis.  Saint Peter’s has initiated a multidisciplinary effort to help reverse the epidemic of opioid drug abuse and deaths, in cooperation with a variety of public-interest groups and law-enforcement agencies in central New Jersey. The initiative is overseen by an opioid task force comprised of members of senior leadership, physicians, nursing, emergency services, and pharmacy operations within Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, in tandem with resource-sharing partnerships with community groups such as the Wellspring Center for Prevention; Consortium for Healthier Communities; Woodbridge Opioid Overdose Recovery Program; Healthier Middlesex Consortium, and law enforcement, including the Middlesex County Chiefs of Police Association.

As part of this initiative, Saint Peter’s has held programs on opioid addiction within the Middlesex County School district and will be continuing to do so in the local communities it serves.
To RSVP for the programs in March or April, please contact Marcia Linico at (888) 682-8636 or The programs are stand-alone presentations, and not part of a series. Boxed dinners are offered free of charge to attendees who RSVP, and will be served just prior to the program at 6 p.m. Parking is free. 

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