As Planners, we look to identify threats and hazards that can come from natural, technological and/or human caused events. A great place to start is the Homeland Security Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Guide available at http://www.state.nj.us/njhomelandsecurity/grants/grants-main/06-21-12-thira-guide.pdf
But there is another life threatening hazard among us that we need to recognize; the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. The facts are overwhelming and the outcomes often tragic. According to the CDC, 100 Americans die every day from drug overdoses.
Rarely do people start with heroin, but the addictive nature of opioids can quickly lead them to a desperate state where the power and cost effectiveness of heroin is their last choice.
For more information, look to the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief/
Homeland Security begins with making sure our homes, schools, campuses and workplaces are safe. Develop a plan to deal with this threat as you have done about domestic violence, sexual abuse and stalking.
There are things we can do. They begin with having a discussion about the risks of abuse, providing places to safely dispose of unused drugs and providing access and resources to those needing treatment.
Develop a plan collaboratively and share it liberally.
Don’t be an unwitting supplier of prescription drugs by leaving them unsecured at home or work.