By Jenna Bonstein, Preventionist I
We are excited to launch our Be Smart about Medicine contest in Middlesex County middle schools again this year.
This effort is designed for students to educate and spread awareness of the dangers of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs (Rx). The artwork is relatable to middle school teens since it is designed by peers at their age level to explain the risk factors for abusing prescription and OTC drugs.
Be Smart about Medicine is a creative expression contest that middle school students engage in spreading an educational message to the public about the dangers of RX and OTC drugs. Prescription and OTC drugs can be very potent strong and can have a dramatic effect on the way the body works. This is especially true of drugs are not taken as directed.
Of special interest is that fact that teen prescription drug abuse can result in addiction, overdose, serious health issues and even death.
The importance of students spreading this message to their peers and raising awareness of this topic is a preventative approach to misuse and abuse of prescription medications and OTC drugs.
Our contest winners’ artwork from last year’s contest is currently being displayed at the Piscataway Public Library. The display will available for viewing until January 31st. The J.F. Kennedy Memorial Library is located at 500 Hoes Ln, Piscataway Township, NJ 08854. Library hours are Mondays through Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.; Fridays 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; and Sundays 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Next, the Coalition for Healthy Communities will bring the display to the annual Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America conference held each February in Washington D.C., The display will be shared with hundreds of other local coalitions who are all working toward the same goal: to reduce substance use disorder and building drug-free communities.
Later on in February, the Be Smart about Medicine display will be moved to the Sayreville Public Library lobby where it will be displayed for a month.
We hope to have the display showcased at other public libraries throughout Middlesex County until new winners are announced for this year’s contest. If you are in the local areas, go check the display and encourage the youth to get involved in “Be Smart about Medicine”.