The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers is a serious global problem that affects the health, social, and economic welfare of all societies. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (www.drugabuse.gov/), there is an estimated 26.4 million to 36 million people who abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin.
Several factors have contributed to the severity of the current prescription drug abuse problem. They include increases in the number of prescriptions written and dispensed, social acceptance, and aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies. In an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of Opioid use, October 6, 2016, has been designated the Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day. The focus of this statewide single-day initiative is to raise awareness of the potential for dependency on prescribed pain medicine and its link to heroin abuse rates in New Jersey.
What can you do?
- Before accepting an Opioid prescription, talk to your doctor or dentist about the dangers and addictive qualities of pain medication.
- Clear out your medicine cabinet and drop off any unused bottles to the Prescription Drug box located at the Livingston Police Station or drop off medication during the NationalPrescription Drug Take Back Day on October 22.
- Pick up a Knock Out Opioid Abuse door knocker from the Senior/Community Center at 204 Hillside Ave and put it on your door as a reminder of the dangers of Opioid use and take extras door knockers to give to your neighbors.
- Wear a red ribbon during Red Ribbon Week (October 24-31) to display your commitment to a drug-free lifestyle.
- Join the Livingston Municipal Alliance Committee to see how you can help to increase awareness about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in the Livingston community.
Members of LMAC include representatives from the Township Council, Board of Education, schools, PTAs, police, clergy, youth, parents, service clubs, businesses, and interested citizens. We welcome new members and new ideas to help our community. The Committee is appointed in January, so if you are interested in joining us, please reach out to the Township Clerk’s Office at 973-535-7966. If joining the Committee is not for you, why not sponsor an event, or volunteer your time and expertise. By working together we can make a difference! Go to www.lmacnj.org for more information on how you can get involved, or call 973-535-7925 x 703, or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. LMAC is funded in part by the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.