Upcoming Webinar to Focus on Race and the Opioid Epidemic



Contact: Natalie Golub, 973-382-4560, natalie@drugfreenj.org


Upcoming Webinar to Focus on Race and the Opioid Epidemic

PDFNJ and New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to Host 10th Webinar of 2021

MILLBURN — Experts will examine the role race has played in the statewide and national opioid epidemic in the year’s final installment of the Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Learning Series. The webinar is presented by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator of Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (NJ CARES), which is responsible for overseeing addiction-fighting efforts across the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.

The webinar, “The Opioid Epidemic and the Impact of Race,” will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, December 9. It will feature New Jersey Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck; Captain Jason Piotrowski of the New Jersey State Police Drug Monitoring Initiative; Dr. Robert Johnson, interim dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and Jayme Ganey, a licensed professional counselor and program manager for Family Connections’ Culture Connections.

“The opioid epidemic has hurt every community in New Jersey,” PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente said. “As we continue to address this issue, it is important to consider the impact of race in how different communities are affected and assuring that all communities have access to the education and resources to prevent and treat addiction among their residents.”

“As we work together to knock out opioid abuse, we cannot afford to leave any community behind,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck. “That’s why, in the Murphy Administration, we are committed to helping anyone struggling with addiction find the path to recovery and to pursuing equitable strategies that will put an end to the opioid epidemic once and for all.”

The webinar will be the 10th event of the 2021 Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Learning Series and the continued collaboration between PDFNJ and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. The organizations worked together on six webinars as part of the Knock Out Opioid Abuse Webinar Series, focusing of the opioid epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020.

Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day has been held in New Jersey on October 6 each year since 2016. The statewide single-day initiative is organized by PDFNJ and The Community Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Morris, in cooperation with the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. The goal of the day is to mobilize the prevention and treatment communities, community leaders and concerned citizens to raise awareness of the potential for dependency on prescribed pain medicine, as well as their link to heroin and fentanyl use in the state.

The initiative expanded to include a learning series in 2020, as a way to offer more educational and advocacy opportunities to New Jersey residents in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, more than 3,000 people in New Jersey died from suspected drug overdoses, a vast majority of which involved some form of opioid including prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

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


Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey: Best known for its statewide substance use prevention advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication. To date, more than $200 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception, the Partnership has garnered 201 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.