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Most New Jerseyans Would Choose Non-Opioid Alternatives To Reduce Pain

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FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON UNIVERSITY, MADISON, N.J., Dec. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --  Most New Jerseyans (71 percent) who had been prescribed an opioid in the past two years recall their doctor discussing the potential risks of the medication with them, according to a recent statewide survey from the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll, along with support from the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey ( PDFNJ). These conversations are part of a seemingly successful statewide plan to reduce the risk of addiction, as New Jersey is one of just three states that did not see record numbers of overdoses this year.

Nearly two in five (38 percent) New Jersey adults said they or a family member have been prescribed an opioid in the past two years.

"Many people overdosing on opioids likely developed their addiction after being given prescription opioids by their doctors and dentists," according to Angelo Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ, "What has New Jersey done differently?  New Jersey was the first state to require prescribers to have conversations with patients and parents warning of the addictive qualities of opioid prescriptions while providing non-opioid alternatives, and this is proving to save lives."

Given a choice, a 59 percent of New Jerseyans would prefer to receive a non-opioid prescription such as Aleve or Tylenol for themselves than would want to be prescribed an opioid (22%). This difference grows wider when considering a child; only 11 percent would want an opioid prescribed to their child as opposed to a non-opioid alternative.

"PDFNJ's provocative national award-winning opioid awareness campaigns and its long-running Knock Out Opioid Abuse town halls and learning series have educated thousands on the link between prescribed opioids and addiction and overdose," said Valente.

Overall, more than a third (36%) indicate they have known a friend or family member who has been addicted to opioids. Those age 30-44 (43%) are more likely than those age 18-29 (31%) or 65 and older (27%) to know someone who has been addicted. Addiction is indiscriminate, other than age, there is very little variance observed across the measured demographics.

PDFNJ has been focused on reducing opioid addiction and overdoses through Rx disposal awareness; safe opioid prescribing education; and advocacy such as Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day held each October 6. Combined with the state's efforts to expand access to treatment and recovery, as well as the widespread distribution the opioid reversal drug naloxone, New Jersey is making strides in educating and safeguarding its residents and families, Valente said.

To view the data please click here.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey  is a private not-for-profit whose mission is to educate New Jerseyans, especially young people, about substance use prevention. The Partnership's public service advertising campaign is the largest in New Jersey history, earning 211 awards and more than $200 million donated in print space and broadcast time.

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SOURCE Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey