“For far too long, the medical profession and policy makers ignored growing evidence that prescription painkillers were causing great harm. Now that abuse has become an epidemic, the government needs to mount a much stronger response to it.”
– check out the survey results
by Steve and Elaine Pozycki from the New Jersey Spotlight
With opioid overdoses the chief cause of accidental death in New Jersey, the media can’t make these drugs an acceptable part of life
This week, the White House rightly criticized an ad, which aired during the Super Bowl, designed to promote a drug to treat opioid-induced constipation. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and other officials blasted the ad, saying that the pharmaceutical companies should be running ads combating addiction, not fueling it. The danger of these kind of ads is that they normalize the use of opioid-based prescription painkillers, the overprescribing of which is the main driver fueling the epidemic of addiction to opiate-based painkillers and heroin.
From the Asbury Park Press:
“While addiction to opiate-based prescription pain killers and their illegal street cousin heroin is spreading in all demographic and age groups, teenagers are at particular risk. High school students who use prescription opioids like OxyContin, Vicodin and other pain relievers are 33 percent more likely to abuse the drug by the age of 23, according to a recent University of Michigan Study. Further, New Jersey now has the sixth-highest youth overdose rate in the nation.”
Read a recent presentation by Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Executive Director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.
For Immediate Release: Contact: Rob Horowitz
November 18, 2015 401-595-5026
PREVENT OPIATE ABUSE URGES ADOPTION OF LEGISLATION REQUIRING PRESCRIBERS TO WARN PARENTS OF ADDICTION RISKS BEFORE PRESCRIBING OPIATES
CALLS ON NJ STATE LEGISLATURE TO PASS THE BILL BY THE END OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Prevent Opiate Abuse today urged the speedy adoption of the Parent Notification Bill (A4760) introduced this week by Assemblyman Joseph A. Lagana (D-38).
This legislation provides parents with the critical information needed to make an informed decision about whether their teenager should be prescribed an opiate by requiring that Doctors and other prescribers discuss the potential risks of dependency before writing a prescription as well as where appropriate discuss potential alternative treatments. When parents make a decision to go forward with an opiate prescription, this legislation provides the added benefit of alerting them to be on the look out for any signs of dependence developing.
Prevent Opiate Abuse leaders pointed to the fact that while addiction to opiate-based prescription painkillers and their illegal street cousin, heroin has spread to all demographic and age groups, teenagers are particularly at risk.
The teenage years are a “critical window of vulnerability for substance abuse disorders,” according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “because the brain is still developing and still malleable.” The parts of the brain that are attracted to drug use mature before the parts of the brain that are responsible for making sound, non-impulsive decisions. High school students who use prescription opioids like OxyContin, Vicodin and other pain relievers are 33 percent more likely to abuse the drug by the age of 23, according to a recent University of Michigan Study.
Elaine Pozycki, Co-Chair of Prevent Opiate Abuse and Chair of Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, said, “We must give parents the tools to protect their children from this epidemic. That is exactly what this legislation does and why it needs to speedily become law.”
Assemblyman Lagana said, “The epidemic of opiate addiction poses a big threat to our youth. This is why I am proud to sponsor this legislation and will do everything I can to make sure we stop addiction before it begins.”
Angelo Valente, Executive Director of Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, said that “if parents must give permission before their child can go on a field trip to the Zoo, they sure should be asked for their sign-off, before their child is prescribed an opiate.”
New Jersey families who have been impacted by opiate addiction will gather at a breakfast meeting hosted by Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and Prevent Opiate Abuse at the Marriott Teaneck at Glenpointe on this Friday,November 20th. The keynote speaker at the breakfast will be Andrew Kolodny, M.D, co-founder of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and Chief Medical Officer at Phoenix House, who will discuss how opiate use impacts the developing brain, particularly of children.
A more expansive Patient Notification bill (S2366), put forward by Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) and Senator Joe Vitale (D-19), which required a conversation with adult patients as well, passed the State Senate overwhelmingly at the end of 2014. It has yet to receive a Committee hearing in the Assembly Health Committee, Chaired by Herb Conaway (D-7).Noting they were confident of its passage by an overwhelming majority in both Houses, Prevent Opiate Abuse called on Conaway to post this more targeted version of the legislation for a Committee vote before the session ended.
Prevent Opiate Abuse is dedicated to significantly reducing the abuse of prescription opiate-based painkillers in New Jersey through advancing initiatives, both governmental and non-governmental, that are effective.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18 Rhode Island Communities to Participate in American Medicine Chest Challenge Collection of Unused and Expired Prescription Drugs to Stop Opiate Abuse
PROVIDENCE, RI- On November 14, several Rhode Island communities will join hundreds of others across the country in the American Medicine Chest Challenge – a national collection effort to prevent prescription drug abuse.
Coordinated by The American Medicine Chest Challenge in conjunction with Prevent Opiate Abuse RI and police and community representatives, the National Awareness Day is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Rhode Islander’s are encouraged to drop of their used and expired medications at one of eighteen locations throughout the state. Locations can be found here: http://www.americanmedicinechest.com/
“This is a great opportunity for residents of Rhode Island to properly dispose of their prescription drugs,” said Prevent Opiate Abuse RI’s Rob Horowitz. “In Rhode Island, nearly one-in-five 12th graders have used painkillers without a doctor’s prescription, according to RI Kids Count. Over the period of a month, roughly 7 million Americans use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.”
The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows prescription medicines to be the most abused drugs by Americans, other than marijuana and found that 70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives. A recent study on drug use by teens by the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) found that one in 9 children are abusing prescription pain relievers to get high.
“Removing unused prescription drugs from your household is something we all can do to combat drug addiction. Our Drug Takeback bin at the Public Safety Complex is open this Saturday and every day of the year to Providence residents,” said Peter Asen, Director of Providence’s Healthy Communities Office. “Please, do you part to combat drug abuse by safely and responsibly disposing of unused prescription drugs.”
“With the American Medicine Chest Challenge we are calling on residents to see their medicine cabinets through new eyes — as an access point for potential misuse and abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicine by young people,” said American Medicine Chest Challenge Chief Executive Officer Angelo M. Valente. “This Challenge will raise awareness about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and reduce the availability of potent drugs that lead kids down a path to addiction.”
Residents are also encouraged to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
- Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
- Secure your medicine chest.
- Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site.
- Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
- Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. American Medicine Chest Challenge has gained the national support of PhRMA, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and Covanta.
The “American Medicine Chest Challenge” is a community-based public health initiative, with law enforcement partnership, designed to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and provide a nationwide day of disposal — at a collection site or in the home — of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine, held on the second Saturday of November each year in communities across the country.
Prevent Opiate Abuse, originally organized in New Jersey, is dedicated to significantly reducing the abuse of prescription opiate based painkillers through advancing initiatives, both governmental and non-governmental, that are effective and by doing so establishing a model that can be adapted throughout the nation. According to the Center for Disease Control& Prevention, prescription drug abuse and the related problem of heroin addiction has become an epidemic causing nearly 20,000 deaths annually. It is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem. We are in it for the long-haul and committed to the all out multi-dimensional effort required to produce results.
The event will take place on November 14, 2015 in communities across the country. This initiative will challenge Rhode Island residents to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
• Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
• Secure your medicine chest.
• Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site.
• Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
• Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
RHODE ISLAND AMERICAN MEDICINE CHECK CHALLENGE DROP BOX LOCATIONS
Barrington Police Department 110 Federal Road Barrington 401-437-3935
Burrillville Police Department 1477 Victory Highway Oakland 401-568-6255
Charlestown Police Department 4901 Old Post Road Charlestown 401-364-1212
Foster Police Department 182 Howard Hill Road Foster 401-397-3317
Hopkinton Police Department 406 Woodville Road Hopkinton 401-377-7750
Jamestown Police Department 250 Conanicus Avenue Jamestown 401-423-1212
Johnston Police Department 1651 Hartford Avenue Johnston 401-519-1903
Little Compton Police Department 60 Simmons Road Little Compton 401-635-2311
Middletown Police Department 123 Valley Road Middletown 401-846-1104
Narragansett Police Department 40 Caswell Street Narragansett 401-789-1091
Narragansett Indian Tribal Police Department 4375 B. South County Trail (Rear) Charlestown 401-364-1100
North Kingstown Police Department 8166 Post Road N Kingstown 401-294-3311
Providence Police Safety Complex 325 Washington Street Providence 401-421-2489
Richmond Police Department 1168 Main Street Wyoming 401-539-8289
Tiverton Police Department 20 Industrial Way Tiverton 401-625-6717
Warwick Police Department 99 Veterans Memorial Dr Warwick 401-468-4200
Westerly Police Department 60 Airport Road Westerly 401-596-2022
Woonsocket Police Department 242 Clinton Street Woonsocket 401-766-1212