PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College faculty, staff and community partners will collaborate to launch a free and open-to-the-public series of events aimed at raising awareness about addiction and recovery this month.

The first event, “Caught in the Web: Heroin Addiction,” Thursday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Moses Family Meeting & Training Center (TEC-128) at the College’s main campus, 400 Paramus Road, will shine a light on what many experts now classify as an epidemic in the U.S. The federal government has found that more than 4.2 million Americans have used heroin after age 12.

Dedicated to Bergen graduate the late Jason Vann, the event will feature keynote speaker Michael DeLeon, founder of prevention and intervention program Steered Straight; a panel discussion moderated by Bergen County-based Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources Senior Vice President Ellen Elias and Bergen County Office of Alcohol and Drug Dependency Coordinator Sue Ann Marchese-Debiak; and a viewing of “The Anonymous People” documentary.

Various campus and community partners, including the College’s counseling center, will offer educational resources for attendees – including those with firsthand experience in dealing with the devastation of heroin addiction.

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Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls 16,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.