Wagner to Moderate Panel Discussion on Prescription Drug Abuse

Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen/Passaic) will moderate a panel discussion Tuesday evening at Paramus High School on the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.

Entitled “How Safe is Your Medicine Cabinet,” the discussion will feature a wide range of panelists with expertise in the field, including Detective Sergeant John Devine from the Paramus Police Department; Paramus High School student assistance counselor Joseph Traina; Judy Forman, the coordinator of the Bergen County Office of Alcohol and Drug Dependency, a parent and a former resident of Spring House, a halfway house for women.

Wagner, who serves as co-chair of the Joint legislative Committee on Public Schools, has been a staunch advocate of smarter drug policies to help save lives. She recently sponsored the Good Samaritan Emergency Response Act (A-578), a measure that was supported by the Drug Policy Alliance as a way to encourage people to seek emergency medical assistance for overdoses. Wagner is currently working to forge a compromise on the issue, since it was vetoed by Gov. Christie despite the outcry from supporters who say it will save lives.

“I’m looking forward to moderating this crucial conversation because I think it’s something every parent should participate in,” said Wagner. “Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. I think it’s extremely important that parents be aware of the prescription narcotics in their home and how to prevent teens and adolescents from abusing them.”

The event is jointly sponsored by the Bergen County Prevention Coalition, the State Department of Human Services, the Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources, the Paramus Board of Education and Police Department, the Paramus Municipal Alliance and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

The event will take place on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at 7 p.m. at Paramus High School, 99 East Century Road, Paramus, NJ. The event is open to the public and anyone interested in attending should register by contacting Joseph Traina at (P) 201-261-7800, ext. 3083 or (E) jtraina@paramus.k12.nj.us.