Burlington County proclaims launch of Overdose Fatality Evaluation Group
WESTAMPTON – Burlington County is forming an Overdose Fatality Evaluation Group as a part of its persevering with efforts to fight the substance use dysfunction epidemic.
The brand new Burlington County staff is being funded with a $100,000 grant from the New Jersey Division of Well being and can carry out confidential evaluations of overdose deaths within the county, and the circumstances and contributing causes surrounding them. The staff may also look to research information, determine native traits and assess present techniques in place to lower opioid deaths.
By higher understanding why drug overdose deaths happen, native well being officers hope to extra successfully direct assets and implement insurance policies and partnerships to stop future overdoses.
In accordance with the NJ CARES, a complete of 164 individuals died from suspected drug overdoses in Burlington County in 2019, and one other 149 died from suspected overdoses final yr.
“Each overdose loss of life is a tragedy and particular person life stolen. Households and associates are heartbroken from the loss. If we are able to save one life from what we study from these tragedies and apply the knowledge to enhance our response and help applications, it’s effectively price it,” mentioned Burlington County Board of Commissioners Director Felicia Hopson. “By taking a tough take a look at these distinctive lives and the circumstances surrounding their habit and loss of life, we hope to higher perceive the epidemic right here and give you higher methods to battle it. Our primary objectives are to avoid wasting lives and assist beat habit.”
The overview staff will likely be overseen by the Burlington County Division of Human Companies and Burlington County Division of Well being however will embody representatives from the next companion companies and organizations:
- Burlington County Medical Examiner’s Workplace
- Burlington County Prosecutor’s Workplace
- Burlington County Sheriff’s Division
- Burlington County Division of Corrections
- New Jersey Therapy Incentive Program
- Oaks Built-in Care
- Virtua Well being
- Beacon of Hope, Inc.
- Legacy Therapy Companies
- Solstice Counseling & Wellness Facilities
The group will develop a extra sturdy understanding of the circumstances surrounding deadly drug overdoses, in addition to determine missed alternatives for prevention and gaps within the system. They’ll make suggestions about insurance policies and applications or counsel modifications in legal guidelines which may assist forestall overdose deaths and higher serve individuals in danger for overdose.
The staff may also search to construct working relationships between native stakeholders and enhance total collaboration and communications.
“The coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t be the one well being disaster impacting Burlington County. We can not overlook that habit continues to be claiming lives at an alarming price,” mentioned Dr. Herb Conaway, the director of the Burlington County Well being Division. “This overview staff will assist us pool a number of assets collectively and develop higher methods for responding to this disaster.”
“We’re desirous to take part on this challenge to study extra concerning the lives and deaths of the overdose victims in our county,” mentioned Prosecutor Scott Coffina. “We count on the circumstances the staff evaluations will make clear potential missed alternatives for interventions with these people so we would be capable of assist others keep away from such tragic ends. Something we are able to do to avoid wasting a life and spare a household the agony of dropping a beloved one to habit is effectively price our effort and time.”
The Overdose Fatality Evaluation Group is the most recent of a number of actions undertaken in Burlington County to fight the habit epidemic.
Earlier this summer time, the County expanded its habit companies with the launch of a Restoration Middle within the County Human Companies Constructing in Westampton. The Middle serves as a “one-stop” location for people to acquire peer help and details about therapy applications, restoration helps and neighborhood assets. It additionally serves as a location for wellness actions and courses, and for Narcotics and Alcoholics Nameless conferences and actions.
The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Workplace runs the Operation Serving to Hand and Straight to Therapy applications. Each applications work with native police departments to assist individuals fighting habit enter therapy.
Likewise, the Burlington County Sheriff’s Division companions with the County Human Companies employees to function the Hope One automobile, which fits into our communities to assist hyperlink residents with restoration specialists and therapy amenities. Hope One additionally supplies coaching on the administration of overdose reversal medicine.
“In Burlington County, we acknowledge the extent of the habit disaster and the impacts it has on our county’s households and communities,” mentioned Hopson. “Persons are dying from a illness, not an ethical failing. We’re absolutely dedicated to serving to these in want get the assistance and the help they require to recuperate.”
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