MONTVILLE, NJ – A Towaco company has partnered with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey to create a video billboard shown in Times Square to try to prevent opioid abuse.

The billboard, created by Concepts Video Productions, will also be featured in mass transit outlets. The campaign features a man trapped in a prescription bottle with the headline: “In just five days, opioid dependency can begin.”

The entire video was filmed and edited at the new Concepts Studios in Towaco. 

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Concepts Video Creative Director Collette Liantonio explained, “Each year we select a pro-bono project that will impact the world. The opioid epidemic and drug abuse have impacted me personally in a profound way.” Executive V.P. Jon Calderaro added, “We hope this highly visible effort will make an important difference in the fight against opioid and drug abuse.”

“This is a powerful and important message especially in New Jersey where the law states an initial opioid prescription is a five-day supply,” said Montville Township Drug Awareness Coalition Chair Keri Spitz. “The public needs to know that this is not a safe amount, just because your doctor gives it to you. After just five days of use, there is a sharp increase in your risk of long-term use. Montville Township Drug Awareness has partnered with the Montville Township Police Department to hand out thousands of flyers from The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s annual opioid campaign at town events like Montville Day and recycling days for the past few years. This year it’s even more meaningful since this crucial message is coming from Towaco’s Concepts Video Productions.”

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Executive Director Angelo Valente agreed with Spitz, stating that prescription opioids can cause addiction.

“[The billboard’s] message illustrates just how quickly a person can become dependent on opioids,” he said. “It is crucial that everyone becomes aware of the dangers of prescription opioids and that they be armed with this knowledge prior to being prescribed opioids for pain. Talk to your prescriber about these risks and ask about alternatives to opioids.”

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a statewide organization dedicated to preventing substance abuse by raising awareness via multimedia public service campaigns.

The opioid epidemic claimed more than 47,000 lives in the United States in 2017, and initial estimates for 2018 indicate an even higher number of overdose deaths, according to the Partnership. In 2016, Montville Township led the county in the number of overdoses, according to Police Chief Andrew Caggiano. In 2018, there were three fatal overdoses in the township, and in 2017 there were six, he said. Recent research has found that nearly 80 percent of people who use heroin had reported using prescription opioids prior to using heroin, according to the Partnership.

To view the ad, go to: Opioid

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