County hosting NARCAN trainings, addiction workshops

Free workshops and trainings hope to address resident needs

The Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force will host free NARCAN training sessions for county residents through 2020.

On the first Tuesday of each month, the task force will teach participants how to correctly and safely administer NARCAN — also known as naloxone — in order to reverse a heroin or opioid overdose. Participants will also receive a free NARCAN kit upon completing the training.

All trainings are held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Living Proof Recovery Center at the Center for Family Services, 108 Somerdale Road in Voorhees Township.

As the county continues to address drug problems across its municipalities, Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said the Addiction Awareness Task Force works hard to help residents.

“It’s incredibly important; there’s an opioid epidemic going on across Camden County and the nation, so any way that we can fight this epidemic and help save lives is important.”

The trainings require advance registration through Urban Treatment Associates Inc. at (856) 225-0505.

Beginning in February, the task force will host additional workshops to address other addictive activities that can have negative ramifications. The series of workshops, entitled Strength and Hope: Shared Experiences of Addiction and Recovery, will be led by community leaders and will identify best practices in prevention, education, treatment and advocacy.

“These workshops have been instrumental in helping families affected by addiction and overdose cope with their pain, as well as helping others to identify the warning signs before it’s too late,” Cappelli noted.

“We are continuing to seek alternative ways to get this information in the hands of the people who need it most as the epidemic of substance use disorder continues to grip our communities.”

The workshops — each beginning at 6 p.m. at the Camden County College campus in Gloucester Township — kick off Feb. 20 with the presentation Danger of Vaping. The task force will also host Gaming/Gambling, Youths and Gaming Addiction on March 19, as well as Harm Reduction on April 23.

“These are newer programs; we are exploring new and creative ways to assist those that are in need of recovery and to help those that are in recovery to stay in recovery,” Cappelli explained.

Each of the three workshops is free to residents who RSVP in advance at addictions.camdencounty.com/workshop.

As the county attempts to address a variety of addictions and challenges, Cappelli said the Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force works hard to benefit residents with its own financial means.

“We get very little resources from the federal or state government to combat the opioid addiction epidemic,” he explained. “Therefore, it’s limited to counties and municipalities to use what … resources we have to fight this battle.

“In Camden County, we are doing our best to utilize what we have that is most beneficial to our residents.”