PDFNJ to Lead National Event to Raise Awareness of Prescription Drug Abuse in NJ
For Immediate Release:
October 10, 2012
Angela Conover, Media Relations 201-916-1030 (c ) 973-467-2138 (office) firstname.lastname@example.org
PDFNJ to Lead National Event to Raise Awareness of Prescription Drug Abuse in New Jersey
Unused, Unwanted, and Expired Medicine Disposal locations to be held Nov. 10th in all 21 Counties
Millburn, NJ --- On November 10, 2012, a historic and lifesaving event --- The American Medicine Chest Challenge(AMCC) --- a public health initiative to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse will be held in communities throughout New Jersey.
This initiative is being coordinated by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ), Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey (SANJ), and Drug Enforcement Administration – New Jersey.
This initiative challenges New Jersey residents to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
· Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
· Secure your medicine.
· 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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled prescription drug abuse an epidemic, reporting that the death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade and more than 40 people die every day from overdoses involving narcotic pain relievers. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers obtained them from friends or relatives, and, there has been a 400% increase in substance abuse treatment admissions for people abusing prescription drugs.
According to AMCC Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the PDFNJ, Angelo M. Valente, “the goal of this community based public health initiative is to inform New Jersey families of the need to dispose of their unused, unwanted, and expired medicine because these excess medicines can be a danger lurking in the family home.”
“The American Medicine Chest 5-Step Challenge will help save the lives of your children,” Valente explained. He explained that disposal locations, both permanent and day of sites, can be found on AmericanMedicineChest.Com or through the AMCC RX Drop Mobile App.
Sheriff Frank X. Balles, president of SANJ, explained, “The Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey is proud to be taking a leadership role is the important lifesaving initiative for New Jersey residents. The SANJ will coordinate local collection sites in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties on November 10, 2012. Residents in any county of New Jersey who want to dispose of their unused, unwanted, and expired medicine on November 10th, should visit www.americanmedicinechest.com to find out where in their community a collection site will be held.”
Balles added, “The AMCC is designed to bring to light the dangers of prescription drug abuse and the easy accessibility within the home by generating unprecedented media attention to the issue of prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse, to create a way for adults to anonymously, legally, and safely dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine, and to encourage families to take the five step American Medicine Chest Challenge.”
The AMCC website www.americanmedicinechest.comis a comprehensive repository of information on the November 10, 2012 event as well as prescription drug abuse.
AMCC is being supported by numerous organizations in New Jersey including the New Jersey Broadcaster’s Association, New Jersey Prevention Network, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. National sponsors include PhRMA, Generic Pharmaceutical Association, The Partnership at Drugfree.org, the American College of Emergency Room Physicians, and Covanta Energy. The parent organization of AMCC is the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.
“With over 1,000 community, government, and local law enforcement partners in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia and two Indian Nations, we are on our way to a truly historical nationwide awakening to the dangers of prescription drug abuse,” explained Valente.
AMCC is based on the success of the nationally recognized Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey (OMC-NJ). OMC-NJ was the first in the nation statewide day of disposal, held in November 2009 with a one day, four-hour, state-wide event that netted over 9,000 lbs. of medicine, with a street value of over $35 million, while simultaneously garnering over a million dollars in in-kind media attention on the issue of prescription and over the counter drug abuse. The program was recognized in the 2010 Drug Strategy of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.