The Municipal Alliance Committee of the Chathams (MACC) is highlighting Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day with a Broken Heart Campaign.

The Broken Heart campaign emphasizes that the disease of addiction impacts those suffering from it — as well as their friends and family — in physical, mental and emotional ways.

The Madison Chatham Coalition coordinated efforts with Fairleigh Dickinson University Pharmaceutical students to visit local Madison and Chatham businesses with safe prescribing information and updated opioid-related information.

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Additionally, this year the School District of the Chathams required all athletes and their parents to read and sign an opioid use and misuse educational far sheet for keeping our student-athletes safe.

Knock Out Opioid Abuse day is organized by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and The Community Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Morris, in cooperation with the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

  • Enough painkillers are prescribed to medicate every American around-the-clock for a month. #KnockOutOpioidAbuse
  • Male youth athletes are twice as likely to be prescribed opioid painkillers and four times more likely to abuse them. #KnockOutOpioidAbuse
  • Nearly half of young people who inject heroin, reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin. #KnockOutOpioidAbuse
  • After a tooth extraction, 61% of 14-17-year-olds are prescribed opioids. #KnockOutOpioidAbuse
  • The percentage of Americans 50 or older who misused opioids more than doubled from 2004 to 2014. #KnockOutOpioidAbuse

More than 2,200 people in New Jersey died of drug overdoses in 2016, including 1,900 involving opioids. Nationally, more than 64,000 people succumbed to overdoses, more than 42,000 of which were attributed to opioids. New Jersey is already on pace to reach 3,000 in 2018. Angelo Valence, executive director of The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, said the goal is to continue to send a message that there's a direct link between prescribed opiates and heroin abuse."It's important for conversations to take place between medical communities and patients, in particular, young children who may be potentially prescribed an opiate," said Valente.

The Broken Heart campaign emphasizes that the disease of addiction impacts those suffering from it — as well as their friends and family — in physical, mental and emotional ways. With the help of the advertising community and New Jersey Transit, this message has been spread to millions New Jersey residents, so that they can better understand addiction and prevent themselves from experiencing the tragedies too many American and New Jersey families have already faced.