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Vigil and walk in Braddock Park to recognize overdose awareness

The event is put together by the Hudson and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Offices

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez speaks at the Candlelight Vigil and Memorial Walk in recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week on April 28. Photo courtesy of the Prosecutor's Office.

The Hudson and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Offices will host a Candlelight Vigil and Memorial Walk in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Month on Wednesday, August 17, Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

The event is being organized in conjunction with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office’s Operation Helping Hand in an effort to educate the public about the opioid epidemic, offer addiction and recovery resources, and help end the stigma associated with overdose deaths.

The event begins at 6 p.m. at Bruins Stadium in James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen, with a speaking program by members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, New Pathway, RWJ Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery, and others. A candlelight vigil, moment of silence, and memorial walk will follow.

“Substance abuse does not discriminate and the opioid epidemic continues to devastatingly impact countless individuals and families across the country,” said Suarez. “We, as law enforcement, have the opportunity to bridge the gap that far too often deters those who may be struggling with addiction from receiving the treatment they need. Our office is proud to sponsor this event to help spread awareness, remember those whom we have lost, and help end the stigma surrounding addiction and substance related deaths.”

August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. Addiction and overdose not only impacts the user, but families and loved ones as well.

Partnering with Bergen County Prosecutor

The Hudson and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Offices are committed to partnerships with local advocacy and resource groups to ensure anyone impacted by overdose or addiction has access to lifesaving tools and programs. Attendees are encouraged to speak with the more than one dozen community groups that will have resource material available at the end of the vigil.

“As the number of overdoses in Bergen County has continued to rise, we have adopted new strategies to keep our residents safe, including connecting those struggling with addiction to treatment, prioritizing prevention, and raising awareness of the dangers of opioids as well as the resources available to help,” said Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella. “We’re honored to join with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and our community partners for this important awareness event, and we look forward to sharing the resources and programs that are available to break the cycle of addiction.”

Representatives from the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Department of Family Services, Department of Housing and Community Reintegration, Cura Inc., New Pathways, RWJ Peer Recovery, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Jersey City Police Department, the Fairview Police Department, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Forge Health, Integrity House, and Partners in Prevention are all anticipated to attend.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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