Dunellen Overdose Awareness Day 2018


By Melisa Damcevska, Preventionist I On August 31, thousands of individuals across the country will commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day, a day to remember those we have lost in the fight against addiction, those who are still suffering, those in recovery, and their loved ones. Overdose Awareness Day provides an opportunity to bring light to a public health crisis that is often highly stigmatized by and seen as personal moral failure. In Middlesex County alone, as of January 1, 2018, there have been 125 suspected overdose deaths, 533 Naloxone administrations, and 220, 225 opioid prescriptions dispensed (NJCARES, Office of the Attorney General 2018). Each of these deaths were preventable, and raising awareness and education about the dangers of substance use – particularly opioid and prescription medication – is critical in helping to curb the crisis. International Overdose Awareness Day is observed worldwide and aims to increase this awareness and reduce the...

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America’s Emerging Drug Issue - Benzodiazepines


By Gina-Marie Miraglia. Wellspring Preventionist America is well aware of the opioid epidemic we are currently in, but we now have another class of drugs of concern. Prescription sedatives known as benzodiazepines are being misused and abused at escalating rates. Benzodiazepines include drugs such as Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium and are used for sedation and relaxation. Within the past decade, overdose rates have dramatically increased as society becomes more dependent on these drugs. Benzodiazepines are prescribed to those with insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures. Research shows that these drugs are being prescribed at an escalating rate increasing 67% from 1997 to 2013 while overdoses have increased seven time more from 1999 to 2015; according to Stanford Medicine. Benzodiazepines are comparable to opioids since the benefits are overestimated while the consequences of addiction and over consumption are overlooked. Benzodiazepines are meant to be used for short periods of time and...

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