Broad range of speakers addressed various facets of opioid crisis

Students with the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter at Brookdale Community College sponsored a series of events throughout November to raise opioid awareness as part of PTK’s national Honors in Action initiative. Speakers examined various aspects of the crisis and shared information about resources and rehabilitation for individuals and families.

“Our chapter wanted to raise awareness about this issue, since it affects so many people,” said Lauren Deinhardt (Howell, NJ) a Brookdale student studying criminal justice and a PTK member/ officer. “We all know someone among our families or friends who have suffered and continue to do so,” she added. “The PTK community at Brookdale aimed to provide information about the crisis, how to combat it, share information about available resources and perspectives from our elected officials, doctors, counselors, individuals and others.”

Speakers in the series included: Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni; Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden; Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone; Captain Thomas Rizzo of the Howell Township Police Department; Hazlet’s Hope Network; former Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent and Professor Douglas Collier; Dr. Jackson Walker; representatives from the KEYS (Knowledge Empowers Youth and Sobriety) Academy; Brookdale Community College President David Stout; Chad Atchley with the United States Air Force; Passaic County Community College Professor Jennifer DeGennaro, an addiction specialist; representatives from Enlightened Solutions, an addiction recovery treatment facility; New Jersey State Trooper Sergeant Adam Polhemus; Lisa Katherina, mom and counselor;  Middletown Medical ; No Stigma Network and Dr. Felicia Stoler.

“I’m grateful to our PTK students for the tremendous service they have done for all Monmouth County residents in addressing the opioid crisis with this series,” said Brookdale President David Stout. “By highlighting resources and sharing information for individuals and families on how to break the cycle, our students bring hope to so many in need.”

Brookdale PTK member/officers who developed and organized the series included Lauren Deinhardt, Erica Rosenthal, Erica Mittenzwei, Victoria Augello, Matthew Bongiorno, Veronique Manfredini and Jonathan Scott. Professor Angela Saragusa serves as PTK’s advisor.

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is the leading national honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students. Phi Theta Kappa recognizes the academic achievement of students and helps them to grow as scholars and leaders. It consists of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations.