NJ Parents Finally Understanding Drug Abuse Problem, Survey Finds [AUDIO]
A new study finds Jersey parents now see their own home as an access point for both prescription and over-the-counter drugs by children.
Angelo Valenti, the Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey says for many years parents were completely clueless about this, but a just-released survey finds "Four in ten parents have taken inventory of the prescriptions and over the counter medicine within the past 2 months, and about 20 percent are disposing of their unused, unwanted and expired medicine - and these are steps that we've been encouraging parents to take over the last several years."
He points out that, "Under 10 percent are locking the medicine cabinets, but I think if we look at that number and we look at what that number would have been 5 or 10 years ago, I think the number would have been close to zero percent…so this is an ongoing process…Something that has really come on to the scene over the last several years, with the knowledge that the medicine cabinet has become a major source for access by young people of prescription medications that they're abusing…I think that this is a learning process and we are seeing progress every day with this message."
Valenti adds the Partnership has recently developed the AMCCRX drop app.
"On that app," he says, "you can find locations where there are permanent collection sites throughout the state where you can dispose of your medicine 365 days of the year…A few years ago these sites were not available, so you can see there are steps being taken, there are partnerships being formed between law enforcement and the prevention community in order to address this epidemic that we are facing."
He also says the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has several programs that are available to community groups are free of charge.
"And anyone can access those programs by visiting our website."