I take great pride in sharing with you the announcement that was made today by President Barack Obama in the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy recognizing the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s Do No Harm symposium series. The Do No Harm symposia are highlighted as a national model for other states to emulate. As you are well aware, the prescription drug and heroin epidemic facing our nation has had a devastating toll in New Jersey. Too many families in every community are dealing with the unthinkable circumstances that occur when a child is afflicted with the disease of prescription drug and opiate addiction.
In response to this epidemic PDFNJ in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration-New Jersey Division, along with the support of HIDTA New York and New Jersey, has embarked upon a series of gatherings with New Jersey’s medical community to address the important role these professionals can have in reversing the alarming trends of opiate abuse. During the last 18 months over 1,000 medical professionals throughout New Jersey have participated in a Do No Harm symposium. An overwhelming majority of doctors (over 90%) who attended one of these events has indicated that they will evaluate their prescribing practices after learning new information about opiate addiction.
New Jersey’s leadership with the Do No Harm symposium series contributed to the national strategy that now calls upon continuing educational training on opiate abuse for all medical professionals throughout the nation.
This is not the first time the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has been recognized by the President and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for its innovative prevention programs. In 2010 the White House ONDCP featured the Partnership’s Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey (which lead to the creation of the American Medicine Chest Challenge) as a best practice to address the safe disposal of unused, unwanted, and expired medicines in our medicine cabinets. Once again we partnered with the DEA-NJ Division and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, along with hundreds of local law enforcement agencies and community partners to establish the first-in-the-nation annual “take-back day” that has now become a national tradition.
(click on image to download the enitre 2015 ONDCP National Drug Control Strategy)