Next Thursday, the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey will be coordinating a statewide effort to raise awareness on the opiate and heroin epidemic here in New Jersey. On October 6, the DART Prevention Coalition will be supporting this event by coordinating volunteer efforts here in Ocean County.
The statewide single-day initiative will mobilize families, the prevention and treatment communities, community leaders, and concerned citizens 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: educating physicians and raising awareness among New Jersey citizens and families.
Volunteers across the state will visit physician and dental offices in their community. Volunteers will be equipped with information, including a “door knocker” PSA and a copy of the CDC guidelines for prescribing, to provide each prescriber. This is deigned to raise awareness of the opioid abuse epidemic facing New Jersey and the steps they can take to stem the epidemic. Focus will be place on the following action steps:
- Encourage prescribers to discuss the dangers of opioids when they are prescribed, including the risk of dependency and possible alternatives that may exist.
- Share copies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opioid prescribing guidelines to each prescriber visited and encourage prescribers to implement these guidelines in their own prescribing.
- Provide information on local organizations and resources focusing the opioid abuse epidemic for physicians to share with their patients.
Engaging Families and The Community
Volunteers will be mobilized to blanket their community with “Door Knockers” hang tags for the front doors of local homes. These door knob signs contain an opioid abuse prevention public service announcement with information on the link between prescribed opiates and heroin abuse.
Please find the event flyer attached. DART will work with volunteers to coordinate distributing the materials and mapping out areas to cover. If you are interested in being a volunteer on October 6, please reply here or contact me at 732-886-4841 no later than Tuesday, October 4.
Thank you to those who have volunteered and we hope to see you on October 6!