Prescription Drug and Heroin Epidemic - Education Program

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full newsletter

Why Painkiller Abusers Are Turning To Heroin

A dramatic increase in overdose deaths and the abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers have become an epidemic.

Over the years Mahwah has grown into one of the premier municipalities in the State to reside in. In 2008, Mahwah was recognized as the 9th best place to live in New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly magazine, but like other municipalities in New Jersey and across the nation, we are facing an urgent public health crisis in overdose deaths, and the abuse of heroin and other prescription pain killers.

Watch the Heroin Epidemic Town Hall Meeting

Prescription Drug and Heroin Epidemic
Was held Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
Sheraton Crossroads in Mahwah

Mahwah has experienced several heroin overdose deaths and our officers who are trained in administering Narcan, the opiate antidote, have already saved four lives. There is no hiding behind closed doors. This is a crisis and we must face it head on. No one is immune from this epidemic. It crosses all demographic groups and includes men and women, all age groups and income levels.

"Parents Aren't Talking

Only 14% of teens said their parents Spoke to them about prescription drugs in their last talk about substance abuse."


The problem is not going to be solved by enforcement alone. Education is a critical component to end this scourge and that is the purpose of this informative newsletter. This is a starting point to end the tragedies that families suffer at the hands of prescription drug and heroin addiction. We tend to become numb with statistics about the problem but we must take time to realize that there are faces behind these statistics and they are our family members, friends and neighbors.

The Mahwah Municipal Alliance (MMA), a nonprofit 501c3, is committed to offering programs, initiatives and information on these life changing issues. We will be offering a comprehensive program schedule in the fall with more specific details about upcoming events to be advertised here on our website.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance known as “black tar heroin”. Because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its contents, they are at risk of overdose or death. Heroin is usually “cut” with other drugs (fentanyl) or with substances such as sugar, starch powdered milk or quinine. It can also be cut with strychnine or other poisons.

How Is It Used?

Heroin can either be injected, inhaled by snorting or sniffing, or smoked. All three routes of administration deliver the drug to the brain very rapidly, which contributes to its health risks and high risk for addiction, which is a chronic relapsing disease caused by changes in the brain and characterized by uncontrollable drug seeking no matter what the consequences.

We urge you to take the time to look through this newsletter and learn more about the epidemic we are facing. Remember this is a problem that requires both enforcement and education to solve and we need everyone to get involved. Please share this with your family members and friends.

Remember to lock up your prescription medicine!