MADISON, NJ – Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day in Madison is Friday, Oct. 6, Mayor Bob Conley proclaimed at Monday’s council meeting.

Opiate addiction and abuse in New Jersey and throughout the country is becoming an epidemic, Conley said, and organizations including the Madison Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse are fighting back.

Two members of the Madison Alliance were recognized Monday: The organization’s chair, Terry Ziegler, and John Hoover, Senior Citizens Committee representative.

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With the help of volunteers, Madison Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse will help raise awareness on Oct. 6 about the potential dangers of certain prescription medications by distributing door knockers and information about opiate addiction across town.

Teams of volunteers statewide will also visit doctors’ offices to disseminate these materials.

“What this movement means to me is that there’s hope,” Ziegler said. “We are faced with an epidemic in the state of New Jersey and across the country, but we’re lucky to have an alliance and a coalition that’s working very hard to turn this tide.”Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day is a single-day, Morris County initiative, and celebrates on Friday its second consecutive year addressing addiction in the Garden State.

The goal of this action is “to educate families of the addictive qualities of opiate pain medicines and their link to heroin abuse rates in NJ,” Conley said, “and to communicate to physicians on safer prescribing messages.”

These include consideration of alternative therapies, the setup of realistic treatment goals and the discussion with patients of the pros and cons of opiate medications, he said.

Ziegler encouraged all members of the public and council at Monday’s meeting to look up more information about opiates on the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey website.

“The more people know and the more people actually step in and help, the faster we can solve this problem,” she said.

Madison has welcomed other opiate awareness events in town, including the HOPE ONE mobile addiction recovery services van that visited the Madison train station in May.

Madison Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse is a community-based coalition dedicated to preventing and reducing the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.