Sharon M. Joyce Director
Prescriber and Community Education and Prevention
NJ CARES is regularly engaged in outreach initiatives to raise awareness of addiction, medication-assisted treatment, overdose, and resources. NJ CARES is committed to providing continuing professional education for prescribers, mental health professionals and other healthcare professionals, and the community, in the area of opioid prescription drugs and the impact of the opioid crisis. In collaboration with the Rowan Osteopathic School of Medicine, we have offered standardized, evidence-based online continuing education on opioid prescription drugs at a very low cost, including best practices in opioid prescribing, the supportive role of various healthcare professionals including nurses, pharmacists and athletic trainers in addressing the opioid crisis, and a comprehensive review of medication-assisted treatment in the era of COVID-19. For more information and/or to register to view a module, visit: http://bit.ly/njcaresmodules.
We have also expanded outreach efforts to the public, teaming up with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and Horizon Foundation for New Jersey to create a series of free virtual webinars open to the public that cover a range of topics, including the impact of COVID-19 on addiction, the impact and risks of opioids for athletes, changes in opioid prescribing during COVID-19, childhood trauma and substance abuse, and pharmacists on the front lines of the opioid crisis. Those programs were attended by thousands of viewers, including healthcare practitioners, researchers, advocates, parents, educators, attorneys, and persons with addiction. For more information on upcoming webinars and/or to view a recording of a past webinar, please visit: https://knockoutopioidabuse.drugfreenj.org/webinarpresentations/
Further, through a collaboration with the New Jersey Interstate Athletic Association, we produced a video educating student athletes on the risks of opioids, and that video is now required viewing for high school athletes prior to the start of the season in their respective sports. In addition, NJ CARES provides peer-to-peer training to help law enforcement officers better understand addiction, de-escalation techniques, effective techniques for reaching those in need, and best practices for partnering with the treatment and recovery community.