Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae, Acting Gloucester County Prosecutor Christine Hoffman, and Salem County Prosecutor Kristin Telsey recently announced an initiative to fight the statewide opioid epidemic by teaming up with Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) to provide scholarships for opioid prescribing education to healthcare providers within each of their counties.
Each Prosecutor’s Office is awarding scholarships for prescribers within their county to participate in PDFNJ’s Safe Prescription continuing medical education course entitled, “Do No Harm: Exploring Strategies for Safer Prescribing of Opioids.” The course is specifically tailored for healthcare professionals including 1) doctors of medicine, 2) doctors of osteopathic medicine, 3) dentists, 4) nurse practitioners, 5) physician assistants, 6) nurses, 7) residents, 8) fellows and, 9) medical students.
The accredited online course 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 continuing education requirement prescribers must complete to renew their license to reduce the risk of addiction and the accumulation of opioids in the household medicine cabinets.
“Each of our offices play a pivotal role fighting the opioid epidemic through both community engagement and education,” said Webb-McRae. “Southern counties in New Jersey continue to have much higher opioid prescription rates per capita than our Central and North Jersey counterparts according to the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program. As such we hope this training becomes a catalyst for lowering prescription rates in the seemingly never-ending battle against opioid abuse in our area.”
Background on this issue and the accredited curriculum are accessible through the website, drugfreenj.org/TriCountySafeRx
The Southern counties also generally have higher rates of naloxone administration and drug toxicity deaths per capita (njoag.gov/programs/nj-cares/nj-cares-data-by-county). In addition to joint law enforcement suppression efforts, partnering to ensure medical prescribers have scholarships for Safe Prescription Education Continuing Medical Education Courses is yet another way Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem are continuing to fight the battle against legal and illegal drug abuse.