The federal government has granted Mahwah $299,360 for anti-opioid programs, training and initiatives, as authorities increase their attention to synthetic drugs – particularly fentanyl.
The Justice Department Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery grant will help township police and the Mahwah Municipal Alliance “not only build on existing [community-based] programs but also introduce new and innovative programs to deter substance abuse,” Mayor Bill Laforet said Thursday.
Those programs include prescription-drug monitoring to prevent recipients from abusing or passing on medications, he said.
The grant period runs from this month to September 2020.
The funding is provided under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and is the first major federal substance abuse use disorder treatment and recovery legislation in 40 years.
Fentanyl, which was developed for treating extreme pain -- particularly from cancer -- is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin.
Smaller doses than those for heroin are needed, meaning it can be more easily packaged and smuggled -- but, more importantly, that it's a lot more likely even a minute dose will kill a user.
“Our goal is to reduce opioid abuse and the number of overdose fatalities and mitigate the impact on crime victims,” Laforet said. “The Mahwah Police Department will work with our community partners on these programs.”
The Mahwah Municipal Alliance has a 24-hour substance abuse hotline to help users or their loved ones with placement in a rehabilitation facility and other valuable information: 551-500-4642 (All calls are kept confidential).
The township, Municipal Alliance and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood also have provided Narcan training not only for medical professionals but also for anyone else interested in learning how to use the opioid antidote.
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