Dozens of professionals, including educators, law enforcement officials, municipal alliance members and health care and substance abuse providers attended the 12th annual Middlesex County Prevention Education Summit held June 6th at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville.
This year's event started with a presentation by Michael Litterer, Deputy Director at Prevention Links, Inc. who provided an in-depth overview of current drug trends in the addiction prevention and treatment field. Mr. Littterer's presentation focused on synthetic drugs, the various iterations of these drugs, their use and the many names drug abusers give to these drugs.
Dr. Snehal Patel, M.D. of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital covered the "Toxicology of Current Drugs" speaking on the effects of all of these drugs. He has seen the effects of these drugs all too frequently in his work as a physician.
Attendees were welcomed to the event by Master of Ceremonies Diana Starace, Injury Prevention Coordinator at Robert Wood Johnson University and Coalition for Health Communities Chairman, Andrew Carey, Middlesex County Prosecutor, Douglas Collier, Drug Initiative Coordinator and Law Enforcement Liaison for the state's Office of the Attorney General, and Steve Liga, CEO & Executive Director at NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc.
After a full morning of learning, the afternoon session provided a platform for event attendees to "figure it all out" and provide input for effective new community strategies. All attendees were provided with examples of environmental strategies that could be implemented in their own communities. They were then asked to focus on seven specific strategies to effect community change, specifically relating to preventing/reducing underage drinking, marijuana, prescription drug abuse, and synthetic drugs.