Morris Prosecutor’s Aug. 15 Opioid Forum to Feature Former NFL Star

Super Bowl Champion Vance Johnson to speak

Vance JohnsonThe Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is holding a special forum, “Opioid Crisis: A Community Approach to Prevention, Treatment and Recovery” on Wednesday, Aug. 15, in Rockaway Township.

Super Bowl champion and world-class athlete Vance Johnson will deliver the keynote address during this free event.

The forum is being held by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in accordance with a state Attorney General’s directive. Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp will speak at the event along with along with event host Pastor David Ireland of Christ Church. The prosecutor also will moderate a panel discussion featuring invited experts.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for registration. The formal program runs from 7-9 p.m. Christ Church in Rockaway Township is the organizer and host, at 140 Green Pond Road. To register, visit http://ChristChurchUSA.org/Summit.

Johnson is a former wide receiver for the Denver Broncos. His best season was in 1989, when he recorded 76 receptions for 1,095 yards and seven touchdowns. He is currently an advocate for addiction recovery for athletes post-career.

Also featured at the event will be Morris County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brad Seabury, who will present his “Opiates 101” program, which explains the heroin and opioid epidemic, and the strategy by the Prosecutor’s Office to effectively deal with it.

Following the two presentations, there will be a panel discussion featuring Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, Pastor Ireland, Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Liu, Barbara Kauffman of Morris CARES, and Jim Curtin of Daytop. The panel will share differing perspectives on the heroin and opioid epidemic, and discuss how each respective group is working to make a difference in Morris County.

The Aug. 15 opioids forum is the second event held by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office under New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s “21-County, 21st Century Community Policing Project,” which seeks to build better relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The first event hosted by Prosecutor Knapp was a forum on “Officer Involved Shootings.”

The opioids forum is the latest in a series of important events being held in Stigma-Free Morris County, where a countywide effort is underway to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorders. The Stigma-Free initiative, which includes 33 participating municipalities, county government, hospitals, schools and nonprofit groups,  is dedicated to raising awareness of these illnesses by creating an environment where affected individuals are supported in their efforts to achieve wellness and recovery.