The Year of "Next Steps"

2014 has truly been a year of “next steps”. Our state has identified a problem and taken the appropriate next steps to solve the issue. The Narcan initiative is saving lives all over the state and now we look for the next steps to helping these would be overdose victims cope with their addictions. PDFNJ released our new website,, to help parents identify the signs of abuse and addiction in their children and take the appropriate next steps to safeguard their families. The statewide survey we released this week is no different.

The 8th Annual Tracking Study of Parent Attitude and Behavior in Alcohol and Drug Abuse found that parents recognize their homes are potential access points for their children to obtain prescription and over-the-counter drugs. 75% of New Jersey middle school parents they understood that the increased abuse of prescription drugs contributes to the rising heroin abuse rates in the state. This is great news. As they say, recognizing there is a problem is the start of solving it. But now it’s time to take the next steps…and our study shows there is significant room for improvement.

The study shows that:

  • 58% of NJ Parents have not taken an inventory of their prescription and OTC medicine in the past two months.  
  • 84% of parents reported they have not disposed of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine

The crucial next steps are right in front of our eyes and the best news is that it is very easy to do. Parents need to be aware of what is in their medicine cabinets. By taking regular inventory, it is easy to notice if something goes missing. Our American Medicine Chest Challenge permanent sites offer safe and anonymous ways to dispose of your prescription drug. We have over 90 permanent locations across the state of New Jersey alone.

On a positive note, we also found that the number of parents who are talking to their kids about the dangers of prescription drug and heroin abuse is on the rise as well. What we are seeing are great first steps in solving this important issue, but now we need to make sure we take the next steps as well.

For more information on, click here.

For more information on the American Medicine Chest Challenge and to find a location closest to your home, click here.

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