The misuse of prescription medication led to the death of three young people in Orangetown over the past two years.
That led Ed O'Dea to speak to the Orangetown Town Council about needing to take action to better control the use of prescription drugs.
"Ed spearheaded a group that contacted (Rockland County District Attorney Tom) Zugibe's office," said Ann Marie Hahr, also a member of the Orangetown Substance Abuse Committee. "They pulled together a meeting with a mixture of people from the DA's office, SOCASA (South Orangetown Awareness of Substance Abuse), the county drug task force and others.
"They decided to try a symposium. Bring in as many physicians and pharmacists as possible to talk about the epidemic and talk about what they can do to prevent it."
The District Attorney's Prescription Drug Task Force will present the Prescription Drug Symposium: Everything You Need to Know about RX Drugs in Rockland County Thursday in the Rockland County Community College Technology Center's Ellipse Room.
There will be two sessions, the first from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the second from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information or to pre-register, contact Susan Mayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Vickie Shaw at email@example.com.
They keynote speaker is Steven Kipnis, MD, the medical director of the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. He will speak on prescription drug abuse.
Rockland County Sherriff Lou Falco and Anne Calajoe will speak about Operation Medicine Cabinet and treatment services available in Rockland County. Operation Medicine Cabinet gives people a safe place to drop off their unwanted, unused prescription drugs for safe disposal.
"Most people don't think to throw (unused medication) out," Hahr said. "If you are not worried about your own kids, you should worry about the kids they bring in. The drugs are too accessible."
Zugibe will make the opening remarks for both sessions and Chris Goldrick will speak about the Drug Task Force.
In addition to the district attorney's office and Orangetown Substance Abuse Committee, the following groups are involved in the prescription drug abuse task force: Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Nyack Hospital, South Orangetown Awareness of Substance Abuse (SOCASA), Rockland Council on Alcoholism and other Drug Dependence, Rockland County Department of Health, Rockland County Drug Task Force, The Westchester and Rockland Society of Pharmacists and the Rockland County Department of Mental Health.
The schedules for the presentations are as follows:
- 8:30 to 9 a.m. - Registration
- 9 to 9:15 a.m. - President of RCC Dr. Cliff L. Wood Speaks
- 9:15 to 9:30 a.m. - Rockland County District Attorney Tom Zugibe makes opening remarks
- 9:30 to 9:45 a.m. - Chris Goldrick provides Drug Task Force Information
- 9:45 to 11:15 a.m. - Keynote Speaker Steven Kipnis, MD on Prescription Abuse: What You Need to Know
- 11:15 to 11:30 a.m. - Rockland County Sheriff Lou Falco and Anne Calajoe speak on Operation Medicine Cabinet and treatment services in Rockland County
- 7 to 7:15 p.m. - Rockland County District Attorney Tom Zugibe makes opening remarks
- 7:15 to 7:30 p.m. - Chris Goldrick provides Drug Task Force Information
- 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. - Keynote Speaker Steven Kipnis, MD on Prescription Abuse: What You Need to Know
- 8:45 to 9 p.m. - Rockland County Sheriff Lou Falco and Anne Calajoe speak on Operation Medicine Cabinet and treatment services in Rockland County