WARREN COUNTY, NJ – The Freeholders voted Wednesday night to authorize establishing an overdose and suicide fatality review team with representatives from the county Health Department, Human Services Department, Prosecutor’s Office, the Morris/Sussex/Warren Medical Examiner’s Office, and other stakeholders.
Having a review team would help Warren County “to understand where things are occurring and why,” Freeholder Jason J. Sarnoski said.
Suicide deaths in Warren County have increased more than 200 percent between 2006 and 2017, and fatal overdoses from opiates and heroin are a significant national public epidemic with Warren County no exception, Sarnoski said.
The program will review factors that cause or are correlated with fatal overdoses and suicide deaths. The county’s Addiction Awareness Task Force, which Sarnoski established, will use the information produced by the review team to enhance its efforts, Sarnoski said.
“Hopefully it changes some lives for the better,” Freeholder Director Richard D. Gardner said of the new review team.