Are we planning for the “threat” that is killing 100 people every day?

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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.

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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.

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