Drug abuse is a serious problem that affects almost every community and family. Each year, drug abuse causes millions of serious illnesses or injuries among Americans. The New York Times reports that the opioid epidemic is the leading cause of death in Americans under the age of 50. In 2016, over 64,000 people died as a result of drug-related deaths. In an effort to address this epidemic, the Voorhees Township Committee has partnered with Camden County, the Voorhees Township Police Department and the County Municipal Court System to implement the Project SAVE Program.
Project SAVE is a voluntary substance abuse treatment referral and intervention strategy for municipal court defendants arrested for non-violent crimes to receive counseling. The program will connect defendants suffering with addiction with information and options for assessment and/or treatment. The County has entered into a contract with a firm to provide professional drug and alcohol counseling advocates. The SAVE advocate will act as a liaison between the court, defendant and treatment providers. The goal is to provide intervention to nonviolent offenders by addressing the underlying issues that have led them to substance use. Statistics have shown that a significant number of our municipal court defendants suffer from drug and/or alcohol addiction, which has contributed to the defendants commission of nonviolent crimes.
Project SAVE is being implemented throughout Camden County municipal courts with the County assuming the costs for implementation during this initial year.
In a further effort to combat the opioid epidemic, the Voorhees Township Police Department will again conduct the “Not Even Once” program at Eastern Regional High School this school year for students in the 11th and 12th grades. This national interactive high school opioid awareness course is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and educators to inform students about the dangers of opiates before they leave for college or enter the workforce.
This program meets all of the New Jersey student learning standards for health classes. The ultimate goal of this program is to educate students about opioid abuse and give them the tools they need to make better decisions. Voorhees Police School Resource Officers are the trained, certified instructors. This program is supported by the staff at Eastern.
Students will learn the risks of trying methamphetamines even once and how to talk with their peers about the risks of meth and how they can take action to prevent its use. The program includes personal stories, interactive facts and videos that present information from a wide variety of perspectives. There will be open ended class discussions and exercises designed to equip teenagers with information and tools to take action and to influence their peers.
Our Police Department has also joined the national LEAD (Law Enforcement Against Drugs) Program with a mission to create safer, healthier communities. LEAD provides the leadership resources to ensure our police have the means to partner with educators, community leaders and families in providing proven and effective programs to deter youth and adults from drug use, drug related crimes, bullying and violence. Our police are committed to fostering mutual respect, good will and relations with our residents. The LEAD Program is offered to the 6th grade students at the Voorhees Middle School.
As a community, we need to be proactive in dealing with the opioid epidemic, a problem that impacts all of us and does not discriminate based on sex, race, religion or social status.
Anyone who has a problem with addiction is encouraged to call 856-374-6361.
** Kindergarten registration for the 2019-2020 school year will take place at each neighborhood elementary school on the following dates: Wed., Mar. 13 for last names beginning with the letters A-L, Wed., Mar. 20 for last names beginning with the letters M-Z and Wed., Mar. 27 for make-up registrations. Each registration will run from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00a.m. and 1:00p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Contact the local school with any questions.
** The Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation Wine and Food Tasting will be held on Friday, March 22 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Mansion on Main Street, 3000 Main Street, Voorhees. Ticket donations are $50 per person in advance or $60 per person at the door. For reservations, call 856-784-0615 or visit www.victoriuosfoundation.org. The foundation installs Teen Centers in hospitals throughout the country to bring hope, excitement and entertainment to teens facing difficult conditions while receiving hospital treatment.
**The Voorhees Business Association’s Annual Bowling Fundraiser will be on Friday, April 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Big Event located in the Ellisburg Shopping Center, 1536 Kings Highway N. in Cherry Hill. This year, the event will benefit various community causes. Bowling lanes will be available for individuals and groups with a maximum of six bowlers per lane. For $20, an individual bowler will be teamed up with other bowlers. A $95 donation gets one lane for six bowlers and includes pizza and a pitcher of soda. For $100, a corporate sponsorship, the group gets one lane and signage. A $150 corporate sponsorship gets one lane with signage, bowling for up to six bowlers, a free pizza and a pitcher of soda. There will also be a basket auction and a 50/50 raffle. For more information about the event or to register, visit www.voorheesbusinessassociation.org or send a check to the VBA, P.O. Box 349, Voorhees, New Jersey 08043 with “Bowling” and your sponsorship level in the memo line.