Do No Harm: A symposium to discuss ways to end prescription drug abuse

We’re less than a week away from the launching of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s Do No Harm symposium series. The pilot program, which was held at Hackensack University Medical Center back in October 2013, was a rousing success and was attended by medical professionals, local, state, and local law enforcement, and prevention and treatment professionals to discuss possible solutions to the opioid epidemic gripping our state.

Fast forward now to June, we see that the effects of opioid abuse are still extremely prevalent in our communities. That’s why we’ve decided to take the important discussion we started back in October on the road so that all doctors in New Jersey can have a chance to hear and talk about how they can help end opioid abuse.

We now live in a world where opiate overdoses have surpassed car accidents as the number one cause of death in New Jersey, as this March 2014 article indicates and regular readers of this blog will know. In fact, the Drug Abuse Warning Network reported that of the 2.4 million emergency room visits due to drugs misuse and abuse in 2011, a staggering 68% of those were due to misusing prescription drugs or a combination of prescription drugs and other illicit drugs. Though these stats are from 2011, any conversation with an emergency room physician will tell you that these numbers have only skyrocketed since then.

We will be at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown on June 10, Community Medical Center in Toms River on June 11, and Cooper University Hospital in Camden on June 12. We are looking for to some great discussions and presentations and are looking forward to publishing next week’s blog on the road.

If you are a doctor or know a medical professional who might be interested, you can find more information on our website.

As former First Assistant Attorney General Thomas Calcagni said, “We don’t believe you’re the problem, but we desperately need you to be part of the solution.”

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