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The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey Initiative Brings Families and Communities Into Conversation on How to Tackle Opioid Addiction

Hundreds of local prevention and treatment organizations, as well as local and county law enforcement, government and medical community leaders, are coming together in a series of open forums to help prevent opioid abuse, and to learn and share best practices for helping those addicted.

The effort, funded by a $250,000 grant from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey to the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, features a series of 17 “Knock Out Opioid Abuse” town halls that are taking place over the next 18 months. The town halls are being planned in those counties most heavily impacted by the epidemic, with special attention given to 45 towns with the most reported abuse cases.

“Stopping opioid abuse requires a comprehensive and multi-faceted effort to improve public awareness about the threat of addiction and to develop best practices for treatment and prevention,” said Robert A. Marino, Horizon BCBSNJ Chairman & CEO and The Horizon Foundation Board Chairman. “Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has been a leader in the fight against drug abuse and Horizon is pleased to join them in getting everyone in the conversation on real solutions and pathways to help in the community. It’s critical to engage multiple stake holders in the whole continuum of care, starting from awareness of opioid addiction, to prevention and treatment.”

The goals of the town halls are:

  • To provide residents an opportunity to more fully understand the impact this national epidemic is having on their own communities;
  • To provide residents with information on the local, county and state resources and initiatives available to them; and
  • To offer an opportunity to highlight exemplary local programs that can be replicated throughout the state.

Since 2015, Horizon BCBSNJ has paid more than $315 million in claims related to substance use disorder. In 2016, alone, Horizon BCBSNJ paid $150.6 million in claims, $54.2 million of which was used to treat opioid addiction. Horizon BCBSNJ continues to partner with doctors, social workers, hospitals, pharmacists, educational institutions and community organizations to fight opioid addiction in diverse, integrated and comprehensive ways.

Published on: June 6, 2017, 11:47 a.m. ET
Last updated on: June 7, 2017, 04:57 a.m. ET