"Drugged Driving" Exhibit Now Open

ALBANY, N.Y. – March 10, 2014 – Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in partnership with the Lewis Henry Morgan Institute at SUNY-IT in Utica, today unveiled a special museum-style exhibit depicting the dangers of “drugged driving.”

The unveiling event included remarks from the following individuals:

  • Paul Tonko, U.S. Representative for New York’s 20th Congressional District
  • John T. McDonald III, Assembly member representing New York’s 108th Assembly District
  • Barbara Fiala, Commissioner of the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
  • James Gozzo, President of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Family members of victims who died in drugged driving related accidents also shared their stories.

Titled “First the Crash, Then the Impact: Prescription Drugs,” the exhibit will be housed in the College’s Student Center from March 10 - March 23.

Through words and images, the exhibit tells the stories of people whose lives were put in danger by someone’s choice to mix prescription drugs and driving. It focuses on fateful events in a forensic style and includes recordings of 9-1-1 calls stemming from drugged driving incidents.

“As more narcotics are prescribed, the potential for misuse and abuse increases,” said Sarah Scarpace, Pharm.D, MPH, BCOP, Assistant Dean for Pharmacy Professional Affairs at ACPHS. “Through activities such as community forums, school visits, and medication takeback events, the College is working to educate the public about the risks associated with prescription drugs and encourage responsible use of these medications. This exhibit represents another important part of our outreach efforts.”

The exhibit is funded through the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) with a grant from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In addition to hosting this exhibit, ACPHS will hold a “Community Forum on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse” on Tuesday, March 11 at 6:00 pm in the College’s Student Center.

Held in conjunction with the Addictions Care Center of Albany, the Forum will feature a panel discussion featuring representatives from the judicial system, the health care industry, the chemical dependency treatment field, as well as local community members on the path to recovery.

Both the exhibit and the Forum are free and open to the public.

Facts about Drug Use and Abuse:

  • Between 1991 and 2010, prescriptions for stimulants increased from 5 million to nearly 45 million and for opioid analgesics from about 75.5 million to 209.5 million.
  • In 2010, approximately 7.0 million persons were using psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically.
  • A NHTSA study in 2009 found that 18 percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drug (an increase from 13 percent in 2005).

For more information and statistics about drugged driving, please visit:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/drugged-driving

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics-in-brief/prescription-drug-abuse

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving

About Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Founded in 1881, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a private, independent institution committed to graduating the best health care minds in the world. In addition to its doctor of pharmacy program, ACPHS offers six bachelor’s programs and five graduate programs in the health sciences. The College’s main campus is located in Albany, New York; its satellite campus is in Colchester, Vermont. For more information, please visit www.acphs.edu.

3/10/14