Cape May Co., NJ: Sheriff Gary Schaffer to Lead National Event to Raise Awareness of Prescription Drug Abuse
Sheriff Gary Schaffer to Lead National Event to Raise Awareness of Prescription Drug Abuse
COURT HOUSE - On Nov. 12, 2011, a historic and lifesaving event - The American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) - a public health initiative to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse will be held in communities throughout New Jersey, including Cape May County.
The New Jersey event is being coordinated by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ), Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey (SANJ), and Drug Enforcement Administration – New Jersey.
This initiative will challenge Cape May County residents to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
• Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine
• Lock your medicine chest
• Dispose of your unused, unwanted and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site
• Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed
• Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse
AMCC is based on the success of the nationally recognized Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey (OMC-NJ). OMC-NJ was the first in the nation statewide day of disposal, held in November 2009 with a one day, four-hour, state-wide event that netted over 9,000 lbs. of medicine, with a street value of over $35 million, while simultaneously garnering over a million dollars in in-kind media attention on the issue of prescription and over the counter drug abuse. The program was recognized in the 2010 Drug Strategy of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the New Jersey Ad Club, Jersey Shore Public Relations and Advertising Association, the Public Relations Society of New Jersey, and the National Association of Government Communicators.
“The goal of this community based public health initiative is to inform New Jersey families of the need to dispose of their unused, unwanted, and expired medicine because these excess medicines can be a danger lurking in the family home," according to AMCC Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the PDFNJ, Angelo M. Valente. “The American Medicine Chest 5-Step Challenge will help save the lives of your children,” Valente explained.
“The Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey is proud to be taking a leadership role is the important lifesaving initiative for New Jersey residents. The SANJ will coordinate local collection sites in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties on November 12, 2011. Residents in any county of New Jersey, who want to dispose of their unused, unwanted, and expired medicine on November 12th, should visitwww.americanmedicinechest.com to find out where in their community a collection site will be held,” Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano, president of SANJ, explained.
Provenzano added, “The AMCC is designed to bring to light the dangers of prescription drug abuse and the easy accessibility within the home by generating unprecedented media attention to the issue of prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse, to create a way for adults to anonymously, legally, and safely dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine, and to encourage families to take the five step American Medicine Chest Challenge.”
According to SAMHSA’s 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers obtained them from friends or relatives, the same survey showed that the scale of the problem is vast: more than 6 million Americans used a prescription medication for non-medical purposes in the past 30 days. As alarming, is the fact that, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy there has been a 400% increase in substance abuse treatment admissions for people abusing prescription drugs.
The AMCC website www.americanmedicinechest.com is a comprehensive repository of information on the Nov. 12, 2011 event as well as prescription drug abuse.
AMCC is being supported by numerous organizations in New Jersey including the New Jersey Broadcaster’s Association, New Jersey Prevention Network, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. National sponsors include PhRMA, The Partnership at Drugfree.org, the American College of Emergency Room Physicians, and Catalent Pharma Solutions, Covanta Energy, and Generic Pharmaceutical Association. The parent organization of AMCC is the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.
“With over 500 community, government, and local law enforcement partners in 46 states, including the District of Columbia and two Indian Nations, we are on our way to a truly historical nationwide awakening to the dangers of prescription drug abuse,” explained Valente.