- The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has awarded
$1 million in federal grant money to educate the public, parents
and college students about the dangers of "club drug"
use and OxyContin abuse.
New Jersey College Consortium - which is hosted by Rowan University
and represents 50 colleges statewide - will receive $790,000 to
conduct an awareness campaign on the dangers of "club drugs,"
such as Ecstasy and others, and of OxyContin, a prescription drug
that can be prepared for abuse as an injecting drug.
remaining $210,000 was awarded to the New Jersey Prevention Network,
with agencies in every county, to educate the general public about
OxyContin abuse. This is in addition to the $500,000 that was awarded
the Prevention Network last July for a "club drug" prevention
and awareness campaign aimed at middle and high school students.
this $1 million in new money, we now have a comprehensive effort
in place to reach all age groups with this message - club drugs
and OxyContin can be just as deadly as more familiar drugs, like
heroin and cocaine," said acting Commissioner George T. DiFerdinando,
Jr. MD. "And, unfortunately, club drugs and OxyContin are gaining
the $790,000 grant, the College Consortium is expected to reach
some 250,000 college students through a major communication initiative.
This will include special presentations, a speakers bureau, and
distribution of brochures and posters on campus. Ads also will be
placed in college newspapers and on radio stations.
sessions will also be held to teach student residential assistants,
campus counselors, campus security and local town police how to
recognize the symptoms of club drug and OxyContin use to aid in
providing effective crisis intervention. A curriculum for their
use will be distributed as a part of the training.
the $210,000 grant, the Prevention Network will develop OxyContin
educational materials to complement those already developed on Ecstasy
and other club drugs, such as ketamine and GHB. All of these materials
are geared to the general public, parents, and middle and high school
students. The Network has already developed a curriculum for educators
and parents to use, is conducting workshops for the community and
policy makers, and has co-sponsored with the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration a conference for parents last May.
law enforcement community strongly supports the educational efforts
that these grants will provide, but we also have to remind college-age
New Jerseyans that using, possessing or selling of these drugs has
serious consequences," said Attorney General John J. Farmer,
Jr. "Anyone caught will be prosecuted to the fullest extent
of the law."
to Attorney General Farmer, depending on the quantity of the drugs
involved, the penalty for using, possessing or selling of these
drugs could mean between five and 20 years in prison and fines of
up to $500,000.
clubs drugs are popular with teens and young adults, OxyContin tends
to appeal to a broad range of age groups, particularly those who
already inject heroin.
which is prescribed for people suffering chronic pain, can be prepared
for injection and delivers a "high" similar to that of
heroin. It can become addicting, requiring larger and larger doses
to get high and stave off withdrawal symptoms. Eventually, a person
could suffer a lethal overdose. The number of emergency room visits
related to OxyContin use more than doubled in the last three years,
from more than 5,200 in 1998 to more than 10,800 in 2000.
can result in excessively high body temperatures causing extreme
dehydration and even death. It also poses a threat of brain damage
and stroke, along with depression and psychological addiction. In
2000, more than 1.4 million people ages 18 to 25 reported taking
Ecstasy at least once, according to a survey conducted by the National
Institute on Drug Abuse.
types of drugs can lead to criminal behavior to support the drug
The $1 million in grants announced today is in addition to the $6.6
million in grant money the department's Division of Addiction Services
uses for substance abuse prevention services. Another $80 million
in grant funds is used to provide treatment services. For more information
about drug treatment services in the state, call (609) 292-8949.
For more information about prevention programs, including those
aimed at club drugs and OxyContin, call (609) 984-9897.