With heroin overdose rates in the New Jersey being three times the national average, with over 6,000 drug related deaths since 2004, parish nurses in the Diocese of Camden’s six counties have joined in the prevention efforts in their parishes and communities.
To raise awareness through educational programs at their parishes, nurses in Atlantic, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties are facilitating medication drop off events at their churches and now distributing drug disposal bags.
Through a collaboration with Inspira Health System, the Southwest Council for prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse and the Camden County Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse; and Join Together Atlantic County, parishes throughout the five counties are receiving Deterra drug disposal bags.
These bags are simple to use and deactivate medications quickly, thus keeping unused medications out of the medicine cabinets where easy access can lead to opioid and heroin addiction.
The Deterra drug disposal bags are biodegradable and present no harm to the environment, unlike flushing medications into the water supply. The bags also allow those who are homebound to safely dispose of unused/discontinued medications, preventing medication errors in the home.
The Parish Nurse Office is working with these agencies to distribute these bags to the parishes in the Diocese of Camden. For information contact Mary Anne Serra RN, 856-583-6120.