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Ocean County Prosecutor Office and PDFNJ Collaborate

to Bring Opioid Education to Prescribers

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TOMS RIVER — The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is increasing its commitment to fighting the statewide opioid epidemic by teaming with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) to provide free opioid prescribing education to healthcare providers within the county.

The Prosecutor’s Office will be awarding 500 scholarships for Ocean County prescribers to participate in PDFNJ’s continuing education webinar, “Do No Harm: Exploring Strategies for Safer Prescribing of Opioids.” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer and his office are the first prosecutor’s office in New Jersey to collaborate on providing continued education to local prescribers.

The webinar features medical, law enforcement and legal experts discussing the impact of the opioid epidemic on New Jersey and providing information on how to safely and responsibly prescribe opioids to patients. It also fulfills New Jersey’s requirement that prescribers receive one hour of continuing education requirement concerning prescription opioids to renew their licenses.

“Prosecutor Billhimer and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office have been a tremendous partner in the effort to address the opioid epidemic in New Jersey,” PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente said. “From its innovative recovery programs to engaging the business community, the Prosecutor’s Office has emerged as a leader in this fight. Now, by making prescriber education more accessible to providers in the county, the office is providing a vital prevention service that will positively impact county residents.”

“The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has been a trusted ally in our ongoing battle against opioid abuse,” Billhimer said. “We are always looking for opportunities to leverage our resources when it comes to opioid education and substance abuse prevention. This unique approach, providing continuing medical education to prescribers is a natural intersection for law enforcement and the medical community. This collaborative approach is essential in our seemingly never-ending battle against opioid abuse.”

In June 2019, PDFNJ and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) launched the webinar, which has provided information vital to responsible prescribing practices that keep patients safe from opioid misuse and addiction. The knowledge from the course has benefitted an estimated 2.6 million patients.

“Educating medical professionals on the risks and proper ways to treat pain and prescribe opioids is crucial to combatting the opioid epidemic our state and country are facing,” PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente said. “Medical professionals in New Jersey are receiving better education on prescribing practices through this webinar, and that knowledge has helped them to make the best decisions for their patients.”

The webinar is specifically tailored for healthcare professionals including doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathic medicine, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, residents, fellows and medical students. The accredited curriculum is accessible through the website, www.KnockOutOpioidAbuse.DrugFreeNJ.org/NJSafeRx.

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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 211 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.

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