The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) has completed a successful Opioid Abuse Day 2022 training series and will renew its partnership with the New Jersey Office of the Coordinator for Addiction and Addiction Strategies (NJ CARES) to hosting a webinar series in 2023 with the US Opioid Education Foundation.

“The US Opioid Education Foundation is dedicated to providing educational opportunities for our practitioners,” said Elaine Pozicki, CEO of the US Opioid Education Foundation. “Only together and with education can we best address the opioid crisis.”

The educational series will begin Jan. 26 with a webinar, From Pills to Fentanyl: Understanding the Opioid Crisis, featuring Dr. Lewis C. Nelson, Department of Emergency Medicine, Rutgers School of Medicine in New Jersey. According to a press release, Nelson will provide a better understanding of New Jersey’s opioid crisis and what challenges lie ahead.

PDFNJ, the American Opioid Foundation and NJ CARES, which oversees drug addiction efforts at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, have planned a 2023 training series to address broad topics related to the opioid epidemic, including educating families about opioids and opioid alternatives for youth and seniors, the growing fentanyl crisis, evidence-based addiction prevention, treatment and recovery programs and other trends impacting New Jersey, according to a news release.

“The Knock Out Opioid Abuse Education Day series is a trusted resource for New Jerseyans to learn more about the opioid crisis and learn how to make a difference in the fight against the epidemic,” said PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente. “We are grateful for our continued cooperation with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, which has been an invaluable partner in planning the series.”

In 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Opioid Abuse Awareness Day Education Series was held to educate New Jerseyans about the various aspects of the opioid epidemic and its impact on New Jersey and the nation, according to a press release.

This series is an offshoot of PDFNJ’s statewide Opioid Abuse Initiative, held annually since October 6, 2016, to educate residents and prescribers about the risks of prescription opioids and raise awareness of the opioid crisis throughout the state.

The 2022 Education Series included 12 webinars that drew a total audience of more than 8,000 participants and featured speakers who discussed all aspects of the opioid epidemic, including Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opioid Epidemic, Dr. Andrew Kolodnago, medical director of opioid policy research at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management, and former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey.

In 2021, more than 3,000 people in New Jersey died from suspected drug overdoses, the vast majority of which involved some form of opioid, including prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, according to a news release.

To learn more about Knockout Day and to schedule next year’s webinars, visit

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