NJ Parents Concerned About Rx Drugs Their Child is Prescribed, Want Information and Alternatives

The following is the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey's release on a study we collaborated with FDU Public Mind Poll. You can find this release, as well as some audio from a recent report on NJ 101.5, on our website


New Jersey parents want more information when their child is prescribed opioids, according to a Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey released today.

The study, conducted by FDU Public Mind Poll, found more than two-thirds of New Jersey parents would support a law requiring them to be notified if their child’s prescription contained a potentially addictive medication, such as an opiate or amphetamine.  Nearly 9 in 10 parents say they would want to be made aware of alternative medications, if one was available.

According to the National Institutes of Health, substance use during adolescence has been associated with alterations in brain structure, function, and neurocognition.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that the prescribing of opioids by clinicians has increased threefold in the last 20 years. “Today, the number of people who die from prescription opioids exceeds the number of those who die from heroin and cocaine, combined,” explained Angelo M. Valente, executive director of PDFNJ.  According to the CDC, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills and each day, 46 people die from an overdose of prescription painkillers in the United States.

CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Addressing prescription opioid abuse by changing prescribing is likely to prevent heroin use in the long term.”

Recently, the American Academy of Neurology released a statement determining that the risks of powerful narcotic painkillers outweigh their benefits for treating chronic headaches, low back pain and fibromyalgia, noting the drugs can cause serious side effects, overdose, addiction and death and that research shows that 50 percent of patients who took opioids for at least three months are still on them five years later.

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