By Elaine Van Develde
If you think you’re in a cozy suburban bubble, protected from what authorities have coined a rampant opioid abuse epidemic, Fair Haven Police are set to burst it.
And the pin is poised for the pop, or at least a little deflation, tomorrow night when borough’s police join with CFC Loud N Clear Foundation (healingus.org) for an informational presentation, discussion and guest speaker about the abuse of opioids, in pill form as well as injectable heroin, and other substance abuse issues at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Knollwood School.
Police say they are committed to doing everything in their power to inform people of the harsh reality of especially opioids’ devastating effect on communities where people tend to think in insular terms, “Not here, not my kid,” Patrolman William Lagrotteria said.
“I hear it from the kids all the time and it’s very upsetting: ‘Hey, we live in the bubble. We have nothing to worry about.’ I always set them straight about that. They’re not protected from this. Not at all. It doesn’t matter that this is a more affluent area. It doesn’t matter that the addiction may not look as ugly as it does in a city, where people end up on the streets. It’s here, too, and it’s just as bad. It just doesn’t look exactly the same, or, rather it’s harder for some to see, maybe because they don’t want to.”
But, he added, if you are aware, and look close enough and pay close enough attention, you’ll see it and you can help conquer the heroin abuse problem. Though, he said, that’s not the only substance abuse problem in the area.
Monmouth County has been on alert to the pervasiveness of the heroin epidemic for several years now.
The Prosecutor’s Office has held forums at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH). Police are carrying Narcan to revive those who overdose.
And Thursday night, they are bringing information to the small-town local level about what’s been going on with respect to addiction, overdose and death statistics, categories of drugs and how to identify them, how to recognize signs of substance abuse and where to go for help and what to do in the first part of the forum, Lagrotteria said.
The second portion will feature speaker Lynn Regan, mother of a recovering addict and founder of CFC Loud N Clear Foundation.
“We’d really like to see a lot of people come out for this,” Lagrotteria said. “It’s such a critical issue and we really want to help. Please join us.”