Webinar to Provide Parents Key Information on Opioids

PDFNJ, NJ Attorney General’s Office and OEFA to Host Second Webinar of 2023

Millburn, New Jersey, Feb. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Parents play a crucial role in preventing their children from using or misusing opioids, but they are not always fully informed about the risks of prescription opioids and their link to heroin and fentanyl. Medical experts will focus on what parents should know concerning opioids in the next webinar of the Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Learning Series, organized by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ), the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (NJ CARES) and the Opioid Education Foundation of America (OEFA).

The webinar, “What Parents Need to Know About Opioids,” will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 23, and will feature opening comments from New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. Expert presenters will include Ona Fofah, M.D., Professor and interim Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Chief of Service (Pediatrics) and Director of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at University Hospital in Newark; Kelly Moore, PsyD, owner of Moore Wellness, LLC, and Director of the Center for Psychological Services at The Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology; and A. Omar Abubaker, DMD, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry.

“Parents are the greatest shield between children and opioid use and misuse, which makes it vital that they are well-informed before heading into a doctor’s office and that they can recognize the effects, signs and symptoms of opioid use and misuse,” said PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente.


The webinar will be the second in the 2023 Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Learning Series. PDFNJ, in collaboration with OEFA and NJ CARES, which is responsible for overseeing addiction-fighting efforts across the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, plan to address wide-ranging topics concerning the opioid epidemic in this year’s Learning Series, including educating families about proper opioid use and potential misuse; opioid alternatives for youths through seniors; the rise of polysubstance use; the intersection of race, culture, and the opioid epidemic; and evidence-based programs for addiction prevention, treatment and recovery.

The Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Learning Series began in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to educate New Jersey residents on various aspects of the opioid epidemic and its impact on New Jersey and the nation. It is a branch of PDFNJ’s Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day statewide initiative, which has been held annually on October 6 since 2016 to educate residents and prescribers on the risks of prescription opioids and to raise awareness of the opioid crisis throughout the state.

The 2022 Learning Series included 12 webinars that drew a total audience of more than 8,000 participants and featured various speakers discussing all aspects of the opioid epidemic, including Sam Quinones, Author of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic”; Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of Opioid Policy Research, Heller School for Social Policy and Management; and former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey. Other speakers included representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey State Police, National Institute on Drug Abuse, New Jersey Department of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction, and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

The most recent data shows that more than 2,800 people in New Jersey died from suspected drug overdoses in 2022. The vast majority of these overdose deaths involved some form of opioid, including prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

To learn more about Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day and for a schedule of webinars, please visit knockoutday.drugfreenj.org.


Best known for its statewide anti-drug 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 217 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.






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