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Released: 9/18/2019 

DRPA Launches Multifaceted Initiative to Prevent Misuse and Abuse of Opioids

“No Stigma. No Shame. Know the facts!” raises employee awareness
about issues related to dependency and addiction


In response to the opioid epidemic that has gripped our nation, today the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) and the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) announced it is taking steps to educate its employees about opioid dependency, opioid addiction and the health impacts associated with vaping. With support from the Board of Commissioners, a comprehensive, multifaceted initiative to prevent misuse and abuse of opioids titled “No Stigma. No Shame. Know the facts!” was launched today for the benefit of more than 850 employees at the DRPA and PATCO.

To raise awareness about the facts, DRPA will use wellness funds provided by AmeriHealth of NJ to bring a new focus to the Authority’s upcoming annual employee health fairs.  Employees will learn the signs of opioid dependency and addiction, visit a mock teen bedroom to learn the places a teenager may hide drug paraphernalia and have the opportunity to attend various interactive presentations, including a naloxone demonstration. Informational slide guides will be distributed to ensure that employees “know the facts” about the inherent qualities of opioids, the proper way to safeguard prescriptions and how to safely dispose of expired or unused prescriptions.

The Authority will also partner with Gallagher Benefit Services to launch “Regain”, a comprehensive educational campaign designed to educate, build awareness and provide those in need with details related to support.  The Regain toolkit includes emails, desk drops, home mailers, posters and a short video of an inspiring, real-life story of opioid dependency and recovery. 

Noting Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Administration’s commitment to combatting the opioid crisis, DRPA Board Chairman Ryan N. Boyer said, “Efforts at the state level like these, and DRPA’s Opioid Dependency and Addiction Awareness & Resource Initiative, are proactive steps to raise awareness about the signs of dependency and addiction and how an individual can get help.” Boyer added, “For information on the excellent work the Wolf Administration is doing to address this national epidemic, Pennsylvanians can review Governor Wolf’s Opioid Disaster Declaration, access the ‘Get Help Now’ hotline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit pa.gov/opioids.”

DRPA Board Vice Chairman Jeffrey L. Nash said, “In New Jersey, individuals may call 2-1-1 for information about community resources related to addiction or, they can call 1.844.ReachNJ (1-844-732-2465) or visit reachnj.gov for information about substance abuse and family support services.”  Nash added, “We hope proactive efforts like those launched in New Jersey by the Murphy administration, and this new initiative at the DRPA, will remove the stigma and/or shame that often prevent individuals from having important conversations about dependency, addiction, the warning signs, and the resources available for treatment and improved quality of life.”

The Authority’s new Opioid Dependency and Addiction Awareness & Resource Initiative will help make sure DRPA and PATCO employees “know the facts” about opioid dependency, opioid addiction and the dangers of vaping.  DRPA Chief Executive Officer John T. Hanson said, “In keeping with our stewardship mission, we want to maintain a safe and healthy work environment and prevent substance abuse from becoming a problem in our workplace.” Hanson added, “Like the Murphy and Wolf Administrations, the DRPA is taking proactive steps to provide employees with access to information and resources to raise awareness about the risks associated with opioid dependency and addiction.”

DRPA Chief Administrative Officer Toni P. Brown said, “The physical and mental well-being of our employees is of paramount importance to us. We want our employees to bring their best selves to work every day. As such we are committed to raising awareness in our workplace about issues related to dependency and addiction.” Brown added, “Our comprehensive approach will include presentations at our health fairs, a campaign designed to educate and build awareness, and the promotion of supportive benefits available to employees, including counseling through the Authority’s Employee Assistance Program.”  

As part of this initiative the Authority will light the Ben Franklin Bridge and several PATCO concourses purple to support the following:

  • September 18 through 21 – for Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week
  • September 27 and 28 – for National Recovery Month
  • May 2020 (one day between 12-18) – for National Prevention Week
  • August 31, 2020 – for International Overdose Awareness Day

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