With drug overdoses the leading cause of accidental death in New Jersey, the opioid epidemic is more than a headline: It is impacting families across the state.

The New Jersey School Boards Association is hosting a conference on Wednesday, May 3 designed to encourage school and community collaboration on projects of prevention as well as intervention and treatment. The conference is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.) at the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group headquarters, 301 Sullivan Way, West Trenton, NJ 08628.

The Opioid Crisis: School Districts’ and Communities’ Call to Action will present a holistic view of the current situation, including measures that schools and communities need to take to combat this epidemic.

Presenters include:

  • Stephen Stirling, NJ Advance Media reporter and author of “Herointown,” who will discuss his project. The project, which used quantitative and qualitative data to reveal the scope of New Jersey’s heroin problem, utilizes data to metaphorically imagine what a city would be like if it were made up of the state’s heroin users.
  • Joseph Coronato, Ocean County prosecutor, who will address the benefits of treatment versus prosecution;
  • Representatives of the N.J. Association of Substance Assistance Counselors, who will speak about the role schools can play in prevention, intervention, and treatment;
  • In addition to staff from an Ocean County school district, who will talk about their decision to keep the heroin antidote Narcan in their health offices, Chief Christopher Winters of the Pine Hill Police Department will discuss the administration of Narcan from the law enforcement perspective; and,
  • Members of the Hopewell Valley Regional Healthy Communities Initiative, who will discuss ways that communities can work collaboratively on providing experiences that support healthy decision- making by adolescents.

Cost/Registration Information The cost is $99 per person, and the program offers 4 Board Member Academy credits. Registration of school board members and other district staff that have been reported to NJSBA through the completion of the district census form may be completed online, but only by the school business administrator, who must attach a scanned copy of the purchase order with the registration.

Other School Staff Additional district staff members may attend at the member rate and can register online through Eventbrite using a credit card. (Staff should check with the school business administrator as to local district policy regarding reimbursement.)

For questions regarding this program, please email Vincent DeLucia, NJSBA director of training and professional development.