Mercer Council News

Keep up to date with our news and activities

First Chess Fest Event for Youth in Trenton October 20th

On Saturday, October 20th, Mercer Council will be co-sponsoring the first Chess Fest event for youth in Mercer County at the YMCA of Trenton.  Chess Fest is a family fun event whose primary goal is for children to develop an interest in an activity that engages their minds and lowers the chances thay they will engage in unhealthy behaviors such as substance abuse and violence.  Chess hel...
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September is Pain Awareness Month

This September, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is observing Pain Awareness Month to educate and empower people living with chronic conditions that cause pain. Along with the many valuable opioids abuse resources on our website, we'd like to share with you additional information about pain management and how physician anesthesiologists can help safey and effectively manage pain fro...
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40th Anniversary Benefit was a Success!

sign Thank You
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, I can not say it enough.  What a success we have had for our first Benefit Luncheon and Silent Auction!  We were able to raise more than $1000 for the Geetha Arulmohan Schollarship.  Thank you to all who helped, attended, donated, and shared.  Here are a few photos from our event. Jocelyn Cooper, Executive Director  Antonia Lewis, Board Mem...
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Save the Date for Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day October 6th

Volunteers Sought For “Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day” October 6th

Volunteers are needed to participate in a “feet on the ground” grass roots effort to educate medical professionals and the public on the dangers of opiate abuse during a statewide initiative on October 6th called “Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day.”

“This statewide event is geared to educating medical professionals about the opiate addiction epidemic and what solutions are available,” said Barbara Sprechman, a coalition coordinator for Mercer Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction. 

Sprechman said volunteers will be visiting doctors’ and dentists’ offices to promote the Centers for Disease Control guidelines about how medical professionals can safely prescribe opiate-based drugs.

“Whenever possible, medical professionals should be encouraging their patients to start with over-the counter pain medications to relieve their symptoms before prescribing opiate-based drugs.  Rather than prescribing 40 Percocet after wisdom teeth extraction, tell them to try Advil and prescribe only two or three pills.  Adolescents who are prescribed opioid pain killers are more prone to addiction later in life.”

If a teenager is prescribed opiate drugs before high school graduation, it raises the risk of future opioid abuse by 33 percent, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey.  The organization also stated that in 2012, health care professionals wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain relievers, which is enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills. 

Sprechman said that the October 6th event is a grass roots effort to bring awareness of the opiate addiction, with people going door-to-door to medical offices around the county and also throughout the community.    “We want volunteers to collect the informational materials and then distribute them in their neighborhoods, their local gyms, everywhere!” 

For those interested in volunteering in Mercer County, please contact Barbara Sprechman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for materials.  Thank you for spreading this important message!

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Narcan Training September 20th

The Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams has stated that "knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life".  Every quarter, Mercer Council and the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County partners with JSAS HealthCare, Inc. to provide Narcan (naloxone) training to anyone interested in this lifesaving medication. This quarter, our training will be held on September 20th at 6 ...
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Day of Remembrance- IOAD Event

One of my first assignments at Mercer Council was the 2nd Annual International Overdose event, held last year in Hamilton. I received all of the registration calls, and with those calls, came stories of questioning, heartbreak, and hope.  I heard stories of sons and daughters taken too soon; of a young father leaving behind 2 and 4-year-old sons; a young girl experimenting for the first and l...
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40-years-strong
Mercer Council is celebrating its 40th Anniversary! Please join us on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 from 11:30am to 1:30pm at Leonardo's Restaurant in Lawrence Township and help us celebrate 40 years of service directed at building a healthier, safer and more responsible community! Our event will include a delicious full lunch and an opportunity to participate in our silent auction, which is a gre...
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Prevention Coalition of Mercer County and The Mercer Council Awarded Drug-Free Communities Continuation Grant

The Prevention Coalition of Mercer County has just received a Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program continuation grant to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol.  The DFC program, created by the DFC Act of 1997 is the Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use and is directed by the Office of the Nat...
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September 17-23, 2018 is National Child Passenger Safety Week!

As the start to the new school year approaches, it is important to ensure all children are buckled up, seated properly in vehicles, and are aware what to do to protect themselves if they ever find themselves riding in a vehicle with an unsafe driver. The image below contains safe riding tips for children. In the event a child finds him or herself riding with an unsafe driver, it is crucial to tell...
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Trenton Community Day 8/25

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For the 4th year, Mercer Council will be co-sponsoring the Fathers and Men United for a Better Trenton (FAMUBT) annual Community Day. This is a free event open to all Mercer County residents with lots of free food ,  entertainment , community vendors , and, of course, backpack giveaways for students. Come out this Saturday, August 25th from 11am to 7pm for this great event located at Cadwalde...
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National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month. What does this mean? Well, it means that this is a time each year that gets attention to all those people in and/or supporting someone else in recovery. Addiction affects millions of people; in fact in 2014 alone, 21.5 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder (National Survey on Drug Use and Health). It is very easy to only ...
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International Overdose Awareness Day event to be held on Tuesday, August 28th in Robbinsville

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International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held one day during the last week in August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. This is a beautiful, powerful, meaningful evening and a ...
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August 2018 Health Observances

OPIOID MISUSE PREVENTION DAY  Prescription Opioid Drug Abuse is a worldwide epidemic that has plagued The United Statesd from coast to coast. The most abused medications are opiates, or pain relievers such as : oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone,codeine, and percocet. The amount of prescription painkillers prescribed, and sold in the US has substantially increased. The emergency department adm...
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Staff Outing at Trenton Thunder game!

Boom, there goes the Thunder! Mercer Council staff outing to Trenton Thunder baseball game on 8/8/18  Vanessa DeRosa, Malissa Arnold, Boomer Mascot, Ian Smith, Lisa Kauffman  Rookie, the bat dog! Cloudman, Trenton Thunder mascot Brian Bittings enjoying the game from the stands  Home team wins!
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National Night Out @ Lawrence Township!

Screenshot-69 Jocelyn Cooper (Executive Director) talking with community members about prevention and the importance of community feedback!
The Mercer Council and Prevention Coalition of Mercer County were proud to be represented at 9 different National Night Out (NNO) locations throughout Mercer County.  National Night Out is an event that seeks to foster and enhance the relationships between neighborhoods/comminuties and various law enforcement agencies.  At the Lawrence Township NNO, Jocelyn Cooper engaged with children, ...
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Tackling Opioids Through Prevention Program

Each year, nearly one quarter of the 7.5 million high school athletes in America sustain a sports-related injury. A study of 1,540 adolescents conducted by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, found that participating in high school sports made it more likely that young men had taken and misused an opioid prescription within the last year compared to their ...
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More from our 1st Annual Friends and Family Picnic!

Mercer Council Staff, family and friends group shot.. thanks to Hal Sprechman's camera stand! Amy Argiriou and family, Gwen Jennings and family! Vanessa DeRosa and family, Ian Smith, Argiriou Family Jocelyn Cooper and Lisa Kauffman Food Tent! Charcuterie Board, brought to us by Nadine Cooper (Jocelyn's mom)! Staff and family enjoying the delicious food!  Each picnic goer brought a dish to sha...
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Mercer Council Celebrates 40th Anniversary at 1st Annual Friends & Family Picnic!

Friends and Family of Mercer Council Staff gathered on 7/22/2018 at Lawrence Village Park, Bergen Street Pavilion to celebrate their history, accomplishments, future and one another.  It turned out to be a beautiful day, despite reports of bad weather.  Staff, family, children and friends enjoyed one another's company over delicious food, refreshing non-alcoholic beverages and a variety ...
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CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

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Dangerous Drug Interactions: Please consult your health care provider before using prescription pain medications with other substances. Did you know that according to the CDC, about one half of deaths from prescription pain medications involve the use of at least one other drug? Mixing opioids with other substances can cause dangerous side effects, including breathing trouble, coma and even perman...
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Balance Starts With You

Lunch--Learn-July-19
You yearn for the vitality of a more youthful you. You feel life should feel more complete what where do you ahve time to take care of you and your dreams? You feel disconnected from who you are at your core. Join Joanna as she discusses her journey from competitive athlete to overcoming adrenal exhaustion, starting over, connecting to her true self, her life's purpose an finding tru balance by ho...
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