CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) – Officials in Camden County are taking steps to combat heroin abuse.

The Freeholder Board says it’s creating an Opiate and Heroin Addiction Awareness Task Force charged with helping them promote addiction awareness and education in the community.

The task force will be made up of parents, teachers, civic organizations, students, medical professionals, law enforcement and religious leaders, and the Board says it’s already received more than a dozen applications from candidates.

“The task force members will serve as liaisons to state and local community awareness groups as well as non-profit groups and drug addiction service providers,” explained Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli in a release. “As an elected official opiate addiction is one of my biggest concerns.”

According to officials, heroin use is up in the area. In just one two hour period back in March, there were 15 overdoses.

The Freeholder Board is planning to establish the task force by resolution on Thursday at their 7 p.m. meeting at the Cherry Hill Community Center. Members will be appointed at the July meeting in Bellmawr.

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