Thursday, October 6, 2016, is “Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day” – This statewide single-day initiative will mobilize families, the prevention and treatment communities, concerned citizens and community leaders to raise awareness of the potential for dependency on prescribed pain medicine and its link to heroin abuse rates in our state. The mobilization will have a dual focus: (1) educating physicians and (2) raising awareness among New Jersey citizens and families. Thank you to the Sussex County Freeholders for proclaiming October 6 “Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day” in our communites!
Volunteers in our county from The Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities, The Center for Prevention and Counseling and the Sussex County Municipal Alliances of the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse will be canvassing Sussex County physicians equipped with information including “door knocker” PSAs and copies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opioid prescribing guidelines. Doctors, dentists, oral surgeons and other prescribers will be encouraged to implement these CDC guidelines in their own prescribing practices. The expectation is that prescribers will better understand the need to have discussions of the dangers of opioids, when prescribed, stressing the risk of dependency and the possible alternatives that exist, especially when prescribing to adolescent patients. More information can be found from the United States Surgeon General here, for prescribers www.turnthetiderx.org
This event has also been designed to raise awareness of the opioid abuse epidemic facing New Jersey and the steps every person can take to stem the epidemic. Teams of volunteers will be mobilized, blanketing their community with “door knockers”- hanging tags on the front doors of local homes. These door knob signs will contain an opioid abuse prevention public service announcement with information on the link between prescribed opiates and heroin use. Whether you are a physician, school teacher, business owner, parent or any other community member- “Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day” is meant to bring education and awareness to the opiate abuse epidemic and to decrease any future incidences of addiction due to potential opiate prescribing practices that are dangerous, inappropriate and ineffective.
We sincerely hope that you welcome our volunteers this Thursday and, if you have any questions, please contact me as we look forward to a very successful day of outreach!