Parents Need to Be Informed About Opioid Alternatives

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has worked tirelessly over the past decade to help residents of New Jersey and the entire country understand the risks of prescription opioids.

A recent column in the New York Times helps to inform parents on how they can best protect their children by speaking to their prescriber about possible non-opioid alternatives as well as the addictive nature of opioid painkillers.

The story cited a survey of parents by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. More than half of the respondents worried about opioid addiction, but nearly two-thirds believed opioids were the best option to treat a child’s pain after a fracture or an operation.

In New Jersey, doctors, dentists and other prescribers are legally required to have a conversation about non-opioid alternatives and the addictive qualities of opioids with patients or their patients’ parents prior to prescribing an opioid. However, all parents should be prepared to ask prescribers for more information on safer options available to manage their child’s pain.

In the event that a prescriber still considers opioids the most effective treatment for a child, it is still crucial that parents understand the risks of dependency or addiction and exercise caution when taking opioids. Parents should also be aware of proper storage and disposal practices for opioids.

Prevention starts at home, and education is key for parents to keep their children healthy and safe. Know the signs and symptoms of opioid misuse and addiction.

To learn more about the opioid epidemic, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey invite you to attend the Knock Out Opioid Abuse Summit on the State and Federal Response to the Opioid Epidemic from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, at The Newark Museum, 49 Washington St, Newark, N.J.

The summit will feature speakers from the federal and state governments, who will discuss the opioid epidemic and the government response to it from a broader perspective.

The conference will serve as the kickoff event of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey’s second Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall Series, which will be held in 21 communities throughout the state in 2019 and 2020. This series will build on the progress of the first statewide town halls series held in 2017 and 2018.

Further information on speakers and registration will be available in upcoming blogs.

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