• Guest Blog: A Child’s Mind - Crossroad of Cure and Care

    Posted 10/28/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    The pandemic is greatly affecting today’s youth. While school has gotten underway in New Jersey and across the country, many children are attending school virtually or in a hybrid schedule. For many students, the changes to their everyday lives caused by Covid-19 will have an emotional impact that we are just beginning to understand.

    This week’s guest blogger, Dr. Shuvendu Sen - Vice Chair, Research at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, shares some insights about our children’s emotional health, and how we can all work to foster mental health for our children, especially in today’s world.

    All the best, 
    Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ

  • Study Reveals Vaping and Marijuana Increase is a Troubling Trend Among Today’s Youth

    Posted 10/21/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    The University of Michigan recently released its annual Monitoring the Future Panel Study, which showed a concerning nationwide increase in marijuana and nicotine vaping among college students and young adults, ages 19 to 22.

  • Marijuana Continues To Be A Complex Issue For Employers

    Posted 10/14/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    The Marijuana Legalization Amendment is on the ballot in New Jersey this November. If it passes this would legalize the use of recreational marijuana for people 21 years and older. It also legalizes the cultivation, processing and sale of retail marijuana. New Jersey along with 32 other states and Washington D.C. have medical marijuana laws and 11 of these also passed recreational use laws.


    This amendment will create complex issues for businesses in New Jersey specifically regarding drug testing in the workplace. The latest Quest Diagnostic Drug Testing Index reveals marijuana positivity rates in the workforce nationwide are at a sixteen-year high in 2019, up 11 percent from the previous year. Marijuana continues to the one of top of the most detected substances across all workforce categories. Changing attitudes toward marijuana and its legalization poses unique challenges to employers and employees

  • Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day 2020

    Posted 10/7/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    Yesterday was the 5th annual Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day. New Jersey legislators and Governor Murphy designated October 6th as a permanent day of prevention education and awareness that shines a light on the opioid crisis impacting thousands of New Jersey residents and families. 


    In past years, thousands of residents would blanket their community, workplace and schools with prevention education resources. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s event was entirely virtual. However, we are pleased to report (while still tabulating) it appears that over 10,000 residents shared information and resources via email or social media.

  • Vaping and COVID

    Posted 9/30/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    We are six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and researchers are beginning to understand more about how vaping and smoking increases the ability of COVID-19 to spread and cause severe symptoms. It is widely known that vaping poses significant health risks, and during the pandemic things are even more dangerous.

  • Free Naloxone Distribution and Other September News

    Posted 9/23/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    As summer has come to a close and we have entered September, I just wanted to remind everyone that this month is National Recovery Month, which celebrates the gains made by those in recovery and aims to shed a light and educate Americans that those recovering from addiction can lead healthy and rewarding lives.


    I am also pleased to learn this month that Governor Murphy announced New Jersey will provide naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote, free to residents from September 24-26 at participating pharmacies throughout the state. Residents can obtain free naloxone at 322 participating pharmacies without an appointment, no prescription or need to provide a name. 

  • Join Us on October 6 for Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day

    Posted 9/16/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    Governor Murphy officially designated October 6 as Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day in New Jersey, a statewide project that is created by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ); The Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services; and the Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris, with help from partners across the state. With about three weeks to go until the 5th annual Knock Out Day, I wanted to urge all of you get involved in this important day that helps to spread awareness of the dangers of prescription opioids and actions that can be taken to protect families and communities from addiction. 

  • Guest Blog: Life Lessons During COVID-19

    Posted 9/9/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    This week’s guest blogger, Donna DeStefano is the Founder and CEO of P.I.C.K. Awareness, (Parents In Connection for Kids Inc.) a non-profit organization that is a prevention, treatment and recovery resource for parents, children and professionals who are seeking information and strategies on substance use disorders, mental health, suicide and general wellness.


    She shares some insights into navigating through our lives during this difficult time and explains some of the things she has been working on during the pandemic.


    I also wanted to make you aware of an expansion to New Jersey’s prescription monitoring program that is streamlining the access for prescribers to access patients’ medical records and see their opioid prescription history instantly.  Be sure to read more about it here.  


    All the best, 
    Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ

  • New Jersey Shout Down Drugs Winners Share Their Insights into the Competition

    Posted 9/2/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    In this week’s blog week we hear from two winners of the New Jersey Shout Down Drugs music competition, which challenges high school students to create their own original music and lyrics that showcase powerful substance abuse prevention messages.

  • A Teacher and Students Share Their Experiences Taking Part in PDFNJ’s Middle School PSA Challenge

    Posted 8/26/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    Throughout the month of August, we have turned our blog over to some of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) school-based initiative participants, so they can share their firsthand experiences with our programs.

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