[Comments made before the Newtown Board of Supervisors on August, 9, 2017.]
At the April 12, 2017, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting, police Chief Henry Pasqualini informed the Board that drug abuse is a problem “right here in Newtown.”
As my colleagues Phil Calabro and Linda Bobrin and I campaign throughout Newtown, we are meeting more and more people who tell us that the opioid drug crisis is the most important issue facing our community.
More than 50% of respondents to my online survey say that "Prescription & Illegal Drug Abuse" is "very important" and an additional 32% say it is "somewhat important".
As Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick points out, 70% of people who abuse prescription opioids get them from their friends or family.
Safely disposing of unused and expired prescription medicines, therefore, is important to keeping them out of the wrong hands. Drug drop-off boxes can help achieve that.
That is why I am here to request that the Newtown Board of Supervisors do more to alleviate this problem by implementing a 24/7 drug drop-off box. Currently, the drop-off box is located within the police station and is available only between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm on weekdays when most people are at work.
"Drug-Free Newtown" Committee
I further propose that the Board establish a non-partisan “Drug Free Newtown” committee and appoint knowledgeable volunteers from the community to serve on it. The committee should be tasked with recommending other solutions and spearheading a drive to solicit donations from local businesses such as KVK Tech, which is a major producer of generic opioid drugs (see here).
I know that businesses have helped to fund other initiatives and community events in our area including Fourth of July fireworks and flower displays along Sycamore Street. I am sure that these and other businesses would be willing to fund educational events about opioid abuse and other activities that the Board may recommend based on input from the committee that I propose.
I look forward to working with the Board when it decides to move forward to deal with this crisis.
Posted on 11 Aug 2017, 01:53 - Category: Opioid Epidemic