Press Release

For Immediate Release: November 9, 2017

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office is partnering with Roselle Catholic High School, the Roselle Police Department, and the Roselle-based substance abuse prevention nonprofit Prevention Links to host “Confronting a Crisis” – a public forum on the ongoing opioid and heroin abuse epidemic.

The forum is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 16 at the High School, 350 Raritan Road in Roselle.

“We are proud to open our facility to help inform the community about this important topic,” Roselle Catholic High School Principal Thomas Berrios said. “Too many lives are lost and too many families destroyed by this problem, and we all need to address it.”

The forum’s agenda features opening remarks by Principal Berrios and acting Union County Prosecutor Thomas K. Isenhour, a presentation by Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force Supervisor Julie Peterman, and a panel discussion involving members of the partnering organizations.

“There’s a good reason the word ‘epidemic’ is so often used to describe the effect heroin and prescription opioid abuse is having on our country – more Americans died due to a drug overdose last year than in the entire Vietnam War,” Prosecutor Isenhour said. “Locally, Union County is currently on pace to record more than 100 such deaths in one year for the first time since records started being kept. It has become clear that there is no one solution, but a good first step is what we’ll be doing next week: explaining the scope of the problem to the public and making sure they’re aware of what we’re doing to fight it.”  

More than 225 people have died due to a drug overdose in Union County since January 2015, and nearly 400 people have received the lifesaving and overdose-reversing drug naloxone from police in that time.

Roselle, a borough of approximately 21,000 residents, has recorded six fatal overdoses and 18 police-administered naloxone deployments during that span.

For more information about the upcoming forum, or to reserve seating, please contact Prosecutor’s Office Director of Communications Mark Spivey at 908-527-4621 or mspivey@ucnj.org.