Pubdate: Wed, 06 Sep 2006
Source: Daily Record, The (Parsippany, NJ)
Copyright: 2006 The Daily Record
Author: Peggy Wright, Daily Record


Event a Response to Arrests in 'Operation Painkiller'and 20 Deaths in County

MENDHAM -- Morris County and federal law enforcement officials are 
sponsoring a drug awareness summit for parents, educators and service 
providers on Sept. 20 at the Daytop New Jersey substance abuse 
facility in Mendham.

The "Parents-In-Partnership" summit was conceived in the wake of drug 
arrests made July 27 as part of the Morris County Prosecutor's 
Office's "Operation Painkiller." Some 60 young adults -- mostly from 
the communities of Hanover, East Hanover and Florham Park -- were 
charged with possessing or conspiring to sell the painkiller 
Oxycodone, which Prosecutor Michael M.  Rubbinaccio identified as "a 
gateway drug" to harder narcotics like heroin.

In announcing the summit, Rubbinaccio on Tuesday also released 
toxicology results that show five people in Morris County died of 
drug overdoses between July 22 and Aug. 5 --bringing the total of 
drug-related deaths this year to 20. The causes of the five deaths of 
the people between the ages of 24 and 44 included heroin 
intoxication, cocaine and methadone intoxication, acute cocaine 
intoxication, and "polydrug"intoxication, meaning a mixture of 
prescription drugs was ingested.

The summit will be hosted by Rubbinaccio, county Superintendent of 
Schools Thomas Kane and Daytop New Jersey. Running from 8:30 a.m. to 
2 p.m., it is billed as a drug awareness event for parents, 
educators, law enforcement and community service providers 
"cooperating to stop drug abuse in Morris County."

Speakers will include U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Chris Christie, 
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-In-Charge Gerard 
McAleer and school personnel, along with speakers from the 
Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Morris County Teenagers in 
Recovery and law enforcement agencies.

The prosecutor said the conference will focus on information about 
the kinds of drugs available to county teenagers and the people and 
locations that peddle drugs to youth. Recommendations will be given 
on actions that parents, school officials, police and community 
officials can take to curb drug use by teens.

Registration is free. For more information, log on to or contact prosecutor's office Agent Michelle 
DiNapoli at (973) 285-6200. 
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