Programs and Services

Annual Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of Overdose Victims

In 2014, the Camden County Freeholders hosted the first annual Candlelight Vigil in remembrance of overdose victims. By 2014, 516 individuals lost their lives in the County secondary to overdose. Since then, the county administrators and community have come together to honor those we lost. By 2018, there were approximately 1600 deaths related to overdose.

 

National RX Take Back Day

The National Prescription Drug Take Back program aims to provide a safe, convenient, and anonymous means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications. Camden County’s Freeholders have worked with municipalities to increase the number of drop box locations. There are now 3 times the number of locations that existed in 2014.

 

REAL Sports

Sports can be an integral part recovery. They are very meaningful in so many ways. A person can create lasting friendships with teammates. It may also provide an opportunity to reinforce the idea that fun and camaraderie does not have to involve alcohol or drugs. Participants get the opportunity to share in the encouragement of others if it is their first time playing that sport. The Camden County Freeholders have supported REAL sports for all seasons.

 

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Recovery Softball Tournament

Once a year in September, officials, those in recovery come together to celebrate success in recovery. Teams drawn from the community compete against each other. This is a day that highlights the achievement of all.

 

Project SAVE

The Freeholder board supported an aggressive effort to continue the fight against opioid use disorder. By identifying offenders at the point of arrest and linking them at court to licensed alcohol and drug counselors, the county reduces overdoses, increases admissions to treatment and reduces the cost to the county.

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OPERATION SAL

OPERATION SAL was created to bridge treatment with the number of overdoses and calls for treatment. In 2014, average wait times for treatment were up to 3 weeks. The Freeholders provided funds to pay for treatment with immediate access. The program expanded to include Recovery Specialists and HALO. It also includes funding for emergency shelter placement.

 

Recovery Specialist

The Certified Peer Recovery Specialist program offered at Camden County College providing opportunities for individuals in recovery to obtain education and combine that with ‘lived experience’ to help others achieve that goal. Recovery Specialists are responding to overdoses at all 4 health systems, assisting in the shelters and working with law enforcement to secure treatment for arrestees.

HALO stands for Healing After Loss to An Overdose. Since 2010, there were approximately 1597 overdose related fatalities in Camden County. The impact has been devastating for families, loved ones, colleagues and others in the community. The Board of Freeholders supported the creation of a group to support those who lost someone. Grief is complicated and that secondary to an overdose is even more difficult. In 2020, HALO expanded to support youth who lost a sibling or parent.