Pinwheels Prevention Project

The Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris, together with Morris County Schools is bringing awareness to the problem of underage drinking through the “Pinwheels Prevention Project”.

The Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris, together with several Morris County Schools, will bring awareness to the problem of underage drinking during the 2017 Homecoming season with the third annual Morris County Pinwheels Prevention Project. Coalition & Alliance members will work with students and school staff to set up a visual display on the lawns of Butler High School, Chatham Middle School, Chatham High School, Jefferson High School, Morristown High School, Mount Olive High School, Parsippany High School, Pequannock High School, West Morris Regional High School, Morris Knolls High School, Morris Hills high School, Mountain Lakes High School and Kinnelon High School, in order to highlight the problem and remind students to think about the consequences of their decisions.

The display would consist of 500 brightly colored 10” pinwheels placed on the lawns of the schools, each representing 10 of the 500 annual deaths among underage youth attributed to alcohol abuse. Brightly colored yard signs accompanying the eye-catching display will highlight the statistic. The “Pinwheels Prevention Project” will reach a wide audience, especially during high school Homecoming weeks, serving as a reminder to make healthy decisions during a time when students may be struggling with thinking about having a drink.

For more information, please visit www.safehealthymorris.org or call 973-625-1998.

Governor Christie Proposes Rule to Curb The Impact of Unnecessary Prescriptions on the Deadly Opioid Crisis

Note: This press release is from the New Jersey Office of the Governor.

Trenton, NJ – To prevent one of the leading causes of America’s deadly opioid crisis, Governor Chris Christie today announced a new rule prohibiting prescribers from accepting lavish meals and uncapped compensation for speaking engagements, consulting work, and other services from drug companies. The rules proposed on International Opioid Overdose Awareness Day will target the unnecessary prescription of powerful pain pills. Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers.

New Jersey doctors collected $69 million from drug companies and device manufacturers last year, and there are growing concerns they allow drug company money to influence their prescribing habits, especially when it comes to highly addictive opioids. Two-thirds of the $69 million received by New Jersey’s doctors went to just 300 physicians, with 39 each having received at least $200,000.

“While the vast majority of doctors care for their patients honorably and professionally, their education about many of the drugs they are prescribing comes too often from pharmaceutical sales people, who may not always provide an objective analysis of the human and social impacts the drugs may have,” said Governor Christie.  “This rule will help us address any concerns about whether treatment decisions of prescribers are being improperly influenced.”

Limiting influence over New Jersey prescribers is the latest example of Governor Christie setting the tone for the President’s National Commission with innovative policies that can be replicated by states across the country.

“Doctors who prescribe medicine should be motivated only by what is best for their patients, and never by financial incentives heaped on them by the pharmaceutical industry,” said Attorney General Chris Porrino. “The rule will prohibit doctors from forming unsavory financial relationships with drug companies that manufacture highly addictive opioids. It also gives our professional boards enforceable standards to hold doctors accountable if they violate that rule.”

This proposed rule strengthens and clarifies existing limitations for licensees of the Boards of Medical Examiners, Dentistry and Optometry, and extends those standards to Advanced Practice Nurses, the only Board of Nursing licensees with prescribing authority. It provides objective standards to make prescribers accountable for the receipt of “things of value” from pharmaceutical manufacturers by, among other things:

  • delineating prohibited items to include cash, gift cards, entertainment and recreational items; items for prescriber’s personal use; payments supporting non-faculty attendance at promotional activities; and continuing education events;
  • establishing some exemptions from these prohibitions where the purpose is for the benefit of patients or prescriber education, such as educational materials;
  • setting standards for agreements by which prescribers are paid for “bona fide services,” i.e., speaking at promotional activities and continuing education events, participation in advisory bodies and under consulting arrangements;
  • requiring the terms of those agreements to be in writing, with dollar amounts and an articulation of the prescriber’s expertise;
  • allowing for and defining the value (not to exceed $15 for each provider) and frequency (4 times each year from each manufacturer) of “modest” meals that can be provided in different settings for learning; and
  • capping the compensations for bona fide services (with the exception of speaking at continuing education events) from all manufacturers at $10,000 every calendar year.

The rule was submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for filing today.  It will be published in the October 2, 2017 New Jersey Register. A hearing on the proposed rule will be held on October 19, 2017 to take public comment from the regulated communities, industry representatives, and the public at large.  The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Monmouth Room at the Division of Consumer Affairs, 124 Halsey Street, 7th floor, Newark, N.J.

People seeking immediate and long-term addiction prevention, treatment and recovery resources are encouraged to call 1-844-ReachNJ or visit ReachNJ.gov.

Pequannock Township Joins Morris County Stigma-Free Initiative

22 Towns Now Enrolled in Grass Roots Movement to Foster Treatment and Recovery for Mental Illness and Addictions

Stigma-Free Morris County posterThe Pequannock Township Council has passed resolutions to declare their town Stigma-Free, making it the 22nd town to join the Morris County “Stigma Free’’ initiative that aims to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

Pequannock Township joins recently announced participants Butler, Chatham Borough, Mendham Borough, Morristown, Mountain Lakes, Roxbury, and Washington Township as Stigma Free communities in Morris County.

Other participants are the town of Boonton, Boonton Township, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover, Jefferson, Long Hill, Madison, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Parsippany, Rockaway Borough and Rockaway Township

In addition, the Montville Public Schools recently became the first K-12 District in Morris County to enroll in the initiative.

“I am thrilled that the Township of Pequannock has joined the Morris County Stigma-Free initiative,’’ said Mayor Melissa Florance-Lynch. “In one way or another, everyone is affected by problems of mental illness and substance abuse and we want people to know the community is here to help.”Pequannock Township Joins Morris County Stigma-Free InitiativePequannock Township Joins Morris County Stigma-Free Initiative

“It is support shown for this Stigma-Free initiative by communities like Pequannock Township, and by so many health providers and nonprofit agencies and our county residents, that can make this grass roots effort succeed, ’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “This initiative is an important step in helping affected people seek recovery, without fear of stigma or reprisal.’’

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2016 passed a resolution designating Morris County as a Stigma-Free County and asked the county’s 39 towns to consider enrolling.

Morris County has created a Stigma Free website www.morriscountystigmafree.org to call attention to the initiative, provide information and resources, and a calendar of upcoming events related to mental illness and substance abuse. A Stigma Free Toolkit also is available for towns and communities. Also, check the Stigma Free news and calendar site at https://morriscountystigmafree.org/news/

Morris County’s goal in creating a Stigma Free initiative is to disseminate information and foster a stigma-free environment where people are free from judgment and can get the help they need to recover.

Stigma Free RibbonHere are some other voices supporting the initiative:

Butler Mayor Bob Alveine: “We want to help save lives by encouraging people with addictions to come forward, to seek treatment without worrying about any stigma, and to embrace their efforts and encourage their recovery.’’

Morristown Mayor Timothy Dougherty: “I hope that this designation will help those who are affected seek the assistance they need without fear of judgment.”

Mendham Mayor Neil Henry: “Only by removing the perception of shame or embarrassment will we erase those feelings that prevent our neighbors, friends and family members from seeking help.

Washington Township Police Chief Jeff Almer: “This will make residents, as well as the police officers, more aware of the illnesses and work to create an environment where we can assist with wellness and recovery by providing needed support and resources.’’

Roxbury Mayor Mark Crowley: “The Stigma Free Initiative is so important because it stresses that we become socially responsible for positive efforts to end discrimination of mental health and substance abuse disorders.’’

Dover Mayor James P. Dodd: “To truly change the way society views individuals with substance abuse and mental illness disorders we must change our language, attitude and be more compassionate.’’

As part of the countywide initiative, residents are urged to take the Stigma Free Pledge:

  • As a supporter to those who have a mental illness or substance use disorder, I understand the importance of recognizing the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • I also know that when recognition is coupled with reeducation and understanding, health-seeking action can be taken. These actions lead to recovery, which is possible for everyone.
  • The Three R’s (recognize, reeducate and reduce) depend on each other to effectively Stamp Out Stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • This is what I, as an individual, charge myself to do—to fully Stamp Out Stigma and clear the path to health-seeking behavior. It begins with me.

For more information on the disease of mental illness, visit www.nami.org and for more information on NAMI’s national Stigma Free effort, visit: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labeled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. Stigma brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept help.