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Hillsborough Town Hall Meeting

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EmPoWER Somerset is partnering with Safe Communities Coalition of Somerset County, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Hillsborough Township Police Department, Hillsborough Township Public Schools, Hillsborough Municipal Alliance, and Hillsborough Youth Services Commission to hold a Town Hall Meeting titled “The Cycle of Pills to Heroin: Drug Trends in Our Community” on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7:00 pm in the multi-purpose room of the Hillsborough Municipal Building located at  379 South Branch Road in Hillsborough.

The Town Hall Meeting will feature a showing of the original documentary, From Pills to Heroin: The Domino Effect, produced by the Safe Communities Coalition, with interviews and true life stories from local residents who have been affected by prescription drug and heroin addiction. The documentary screening will be followed by an interactive discussion and question and answer session with a panel of experts, law enforcement, community members, and film participants. This free event is open to all. Parents and students in middle school and above are especially encouraged to attend to learn about local statistics and what they can do to prevent drug and alcohol abuse in the community. Registration is encouraged but walk ins are welcomed. Registration can be completed on line at www.tinyurl.com/HillsboroughTHM or by calling EmPoWER Somerset at 908-722-4900.

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month and this town hall meeting will also kick off Red Ribbon Week (October 23rd to 31st) awareness campaign for drug abuse prevention. Several community organizations will be on hand at the town hall meeting to provide resources and information on local treatment and prevention services. Light refreshments and free door prize drawings will be provided. Students attending will receive a certificate for community service hours for participating in this important community dialogue.  For more information about this event, contact EmPoWER Somerset at 908-722-4900.

According to the 2014 report recently released by the Task Force on Heroin and Other Opiate Use Among New Jersey’s Youth and Young Adults, the abuse of heroin and other opiates is the biggest health care crisis currently facing our state.  The number of treatment admissions for prescription drug abuse has increased by more than 200% over the past five years, and nearly 700% over the past decade.  The leading cause of accidental death in the United States, previously motor vehicle accidents, is now attributed to drug overdoses.

The “From Pills to Heroin” documentary (available on line at  www.safecoalition.org)  was created in response to the growing problem, in an effort to raise awareness, educate the community and call to action for the safe disposal of unused/expired prescription drugs.  According to Hillsborough Police Chief Paul Kaminsky “One message that we cannot emphasize enough is how important it is for residents to clean out their medicine cabinets as a preventative measure.  Unused or expired medications can be disposed of safely in the prescription drop box located within Hillsborough Police Department 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no questions asked.” The Police Department is located in the same building where the Town Hall Meeting is taking place, so attendees can actually bring their medications to the event and have the opportunity to safely dispose of them right then and there.

The Safe Communities Coalition of Somerset County meets every third Tuesday from 9:30 to 11:00 am at Raritan Valley Community College. Anyone interested in helping to reduce and prevent substance abuse in Somerset County is welcomed to attend.  The goal of the Safe Communities Coalition is to foster a safe and healthy community by eliminating drug use, underage drinking and prescription drug abuse.  Through wide-spread community collaboration, environmental change, and community education in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, the Safe Communities Coalition will address areas of concern including, but not limited to, reducing Rx drug abuse across the lifespan, underage drinking, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, and other drug use.  For more information on the Coalition, visit their website at www.safecoaliton.org.

Hillsborough Town Hall Flyer1