July 31, 2007 —

By Guest Blogger Linda Surks My name is Linda Surks. The Five Moms invited me to blog about my experience and the work I am doing to raise awareness about prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse. Three and a half years ago, my son Jason died of an overdose of prescription drugs that he was abusing. Jason was 19 years old and in college studying to be a pharmacist. If that isn't ironic enough, as his mother, I had what I believed to be a safety net“ I work for a substance abuse prevention organization. I began working at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) of Middlesex County, Inc. when Jason was six years old. At the time, the thought of substance abuse never crossed my mind as something that could hit home. Thirteen years later, it hit in a way I never would have imagined. Since Jason's death, I have worked to tell my community that medicine abuse, both prescription and over-the-counter, have become a significant problem. Telling Jason's story “my family's story“ illustrates how pervasive this devastating phenomenon is. Thousands of other families have similar heartbreaks just like mine. My community in New Jersey is currently involved in helping to educate and raise awareness of the problem of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse. On Wednesday, August 15, 2007, NCADD of Middlesex County is presenting Rx for Solutions: National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month Town Hall Meeting at Middlesex Community College in Edison, New Jersey. By gathering and discussing this dangerous trend, we hope to identify solutions and strategies to address this issue. If you are from Middlesex County, I urge you to participate. If you can't make it to New Jersey, there may be a meeting in your community. Please consider planning a town hall meeting about medicine abuse in your own community. You can make a difference in raising awareness about this dangerous trend. Find out more by visiting http://www.doseofprevention.com/Calendar_August.htm