Rutgers Announces Free Trainings for Police about Heroin, Substance Abuse and Community Policing

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PISCATAWAY, NJ (October 13, 2016): The Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies (CAS) announced today that it has created a free training program to improve community policing efforts related to heroin and other substances of abuse. This community-based recidivism prevention project is being made possible through the generous support of the Smithers Prevention Endowment. The trainings will cover new strategies for engaging and helping individuals under the influence of alcohol and drugs, identifying those with substance use disorders who are in need of immediate treatment, de-stigmatizing substance misuse by understanding how the brain becomes hijacked by drugs and alcohol, and intervening to help move a person towards treatment. The training will be delivered at police stations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania by Frank L. Greenagel Jr.

Dr. Marsha Bates, the acting director of the Center of Alcohol Studies, said, “Frank Greenagel is one of our long time professional development instructors who has nationally recognized expertise in the area of heroin and opioids. His ties with the addiction community and local law enforcement makes him ideal to provide these new trainings. Police departments in NJ and beyond have valiantly tried to address the opioid epidemic in recent years, for example by being trained to administer Narcan. Officers on every level have been asked to change their approach to those with substance use problems, often without significant training by licensed professionals. The Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies is proud to offer this community service by supporting law enforcement officers in their efforts to combat the opiate epidemic.”

Mr. Greenagel stated, “One of my closest friends is a detective and one of my best students is now a state trooper. Both of them have talked to me about the large volume of drug related situations they deal with and how their peers are tired of low-level drug arrests and giving the same individual Narcan multiple times. I have such a deep appreciation for cops and the work that they do. I am excited to assist them to help break the cycle of substance use problems. I have worked with the Center of Alcohol Studies to develop a training program that will help change this by moving away from arrests and towards treatment.”

Frank Greenagel, a clinical social worker licensed in 3 states, specializes in addiction and treatment. He provides lectures and trainings at Rutgers and throughout the tristate area to increase awareness of the heroin epidemic and provide concrete strategies to end it. In 2012, he served as the Chairman of the NJ Heroin & Other Opiates Task Force. He serves on the Board of Directors for Hazelden-Betty Ford in NYC and the NJ Governor’s Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse (GCADA). Mr. Greenagel has a long history of working with law enforcement officers and soldiers, particularly related to PTSD and substance use issues.

The Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies is a leader in the field of addiction research and education. Its mission is to increase understanding of alcohol and drug actions, reduce stigma, and improve the lives of people affected by substance misuse. The Center has trained generations of psychologists, social workers and other mental professionals in addiction prevention and treatment. Its Summer School of Addiction Studies celebrates its 75th anniversary next year.

Law enforcement agencies interested in this program should contact the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies at 848-445-4317 or [email protected].