HUNTERDON Safe Communities Coalition Honored to Present at CADCA National Training Institute

CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America), the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization, will be holding its nationwide Mid-Year Training Institute, August 3–6, 2015, in Indianapolis, IN.  Lesley Gabel, Co-Executive Director of Hunterdon Prevention Resources (HPR), has been selected to represent the Safe Communities Coalition of Hunterdon/Somerset based on their significant achievements.  The sessions offered at the CADCA Mid-Year are intended to expand the knowledge of coalitions across the country in prevention science and help them to implement evidence-based strategies to address a wide range of community issues.


“We are very honored to be able to represent the efforts of the Safe Communities Coalition on reducing drug abuse,” said Ms. Gabel.  “Our focus at the Training Institute will be on the following two topics:  Coalition Best Practices for Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse/OTC and Taking Back Rx Drugs.”  For more information on the workshops to be presented by Ms. Gabel, click on the links below:



Prescription (Rx) Take-Back Days are held several times during the year.  These events are overseen by the Prosecutor, Sheriff’s Offices and law enforcement in our counties.  Rx Drop Boxes are located throughout both counties, with 6 boxes in each county.  Over 6,500 lbs. of unused and expired medications have been collected in Somerset County; 2,000 lbs. have been collected in Hunterdon.  For the location of an Rx Drop Box near you, visit the Coalition website at


“The main focus of the Rx Drop Boxes and Take-Back events is to reduce availability of unused and expired prescription drugs, thus reducing the accessibility to potential abuse,” says Ms. Gabel.  “However, by educating the community about these boxes and events, we are also reminding our community on the potential dangers of misusing and abusing prescription drugs.”  According to the DEA, many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of Rx drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused Rx drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.


The DEA is sponsoring the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 26, 2015.  In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010–2014, 4,823,251 pounds, (2,411 tons) of unwanted medication were collected.   The Coalition will provide more details on this event as the date nears.


Although Ms. Gabel will be representing the Coalition at the CADCA conference, this honor was bestowed on the Coalition due to the collaborative effort of Coalition partners and members who work tirelessly, many on

a volunteer basis, in support of the work of the Coalition.  Added Ms. Gabel, “We have been very fortunate to have great partners and the member capacity to be able to implement the ongoing programs and processes to fight prescription drug abuse in our region.  It speaks to the great community we live in.”


Specifically, the Coalition would like to thank the following individuals who participated in the making of a video about the importance of Rx Take-Back Days and utilizing the Rx Drop Boxes located throughout Hunterdon and Somerset counties:


  • Anthony P. Kearns, III, Hunterdon County Prosecutor
  • Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano
  • John Kuczynski, Chief of Detectives, Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Hunterdon County Undersheriff Frank Della Serra
  • Hunterdon County Undersheriff Robert Smith
  • Lt. Steve SanAntonio, Somerset Sheriff’s Office
  • Deirdre Brazil, MD, Hunterdon Medical Center
  • Nancy E. Scanlon, Pharm D., RPIC, Hunterdon Regional Pharmacy
  • BJ Jacobson, RN, CHPN, GRN, Hunterdon Hospice Clinical Coordinator
  • Paige Meade, Coalition Lead Project Specialist
  • Amy Menes, Coalition intern
  • Taylor Roden, Coalition intern


Caption:  Lesley Gabel, Co-Executive Director of Hunterdon Prevention Resources and
Program Director for the Safe Communities Coalition of Hunterdon/Somerset


About CADCA:  For more than 20 years, CADCA has advanced substance abuse prevention and built a network of more than 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions. CADCA is the premier membership organization representing those working to make their communities safe, healthy and drug-free. For more information about CADCA, visit their website at


About the Safe Communities Coalition: The goal of the Safe Communities Coalition is to live in a safe and healthy community by eliminating drug use, underage drinking and prescription drug abuse.  Through wide-spread community collaboration, environmental change, and community education in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, the Safe Communities Coalition addresses areas of concern including, but not limited to, reducing Rx drug abuse across the lifespan, as well as underage drinking, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, and other illicit drug use.  Hunterdon Prevention Resources (HPR) manages the staff and grants responsible for the Safe Communities Coalition.  For more information on the Coalition, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook @HunCOKnowINFO or Instagram at safe_communities.