With prescription drug abuse continuing to get worse in the Garden state, the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey will hold a series of 3 Do No Harm Symposiums next week, in Morristown, Toms River and Camden.

(Brian Chase, ThinkStock)

According to Partnership Executive Director Angelo Valente, these conferences will bring together hundreds of doctors "so that they can look at ways in which they can inform their patients more effectively about the potential abusive qualities of these drugs, and also looking at alternatives."

Valente said many young people are exposed to opiate painkillers for the first time when they get a prescription for a sports injury or dental work.

Many of these young people and their families were not totally aware of the potential addictive qualities that these opiate-based drugs had."

He stressed the fact "that young people might be prescribed medicines that have addictive qualities, at the very minimum, parents and the young people should be very well informed."

He said the Partnership believes it's important to have everyone involved in this sitting at the table looking for solutions, whether it's a doctor, a parent, legislators or the media.

"We are at a crisis point," he said, "it's at an epidemic level and we have to work together."

By: David Matthau