I am pleased to share this week’s blog from Donna DeStefano, a colleague and dear friend who was one of the moms featured in PDFNJ's website TalkNowNJ.com.
In lieu of this week’s blog, PDFNJ would like to wish all of our subscribers and their families a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year!
As a reader of this blog, you have heard on numerous occasions about PDFNJ’s efforts to support a law in NJ that would require prescribers to have a conversation with the parents or guardians of children under the age of 18 prior to prescribing opiates. The conversation would include information about the addictive qualities of opiates as well as non-opiate alternatives that may be available. The bill passed the NJ Senate last month under the sponsorship of NJ Sens. Vitale and Weinberg. I am pleased to report that this bill (A3424/S2156) was approved unanimously by the NJ General Assembly on Monday, December 19th and is now headed to Governor Christie’s desk for his signature. The bill was sponsored in the Assembly by Assembly Members Lagana, Pinkin, Vainieri Huttle, Caride, Caputo & Wimberly.
We cannot begin to list and thank all of the individuals and organizations that supported this life saving measure, however Elaine Pozycki, Co-Chair of PDFNJ, deserves special recognition for her tireless efforts and unwavering support in championing this bill for the last two and a half years. This past Monday, Elaine likened the passage of this bill to a Christmas miracle. I couldn’t agree more!
On behalf of all of us at PDFNJ, we hope you have a safe, happy, and joyful holiday with those you love.
New Jersey continues to be in the grip of the national prescription drug and heroin epidemic. In recognition of the people, families, and loved ones affected, and to honor of the lives taken by addiction a Candlelight Vigil - Call to Action will be hosted by Gov. Chris Christie next Wednesday, December 21st beginning at 4pm on the steps of the Statehouse. All are welcome to attend this significant vigil by following the steps detailed in the Governor’s invitation.
Last year over 900 NJ families lost a loved one to the prescription drug and opiate epidemic as reported today by the Star Ledger. Now more than ever we need to reenergize our efforts to challenge and engage all stakeholders. With the leadership of NJ’s prevention and treatment communities parents, educators, law enforcement, medical professionals, and our government leaders need to take any and all steps necessary to reverse these extremely alarming trends and save the lives of our neighbors, families, and friends.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Over the last two and a half years PDFNJ has championed a bill in the NJ Legislature that would require prescribers (physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, etc.) to have a conversation with parents/guardians of patients 18 and under before prescribing opiates. The conversation would inform parents and patients of the potential addictive quality of these medicines and provide non-opiate alternatives that are available. This hurdle could not have been cleared without the support of so many of you who have written letters of support, called your local legislators, and attended prevention leadership meetings over the last two and a half years.
The next step for Bill A3424/S2156 is a full vote in the General Assembly. The bill passed the Senate on 10/20/16 by 35-1 vote. If the General Assembly votes on the bill in the next several weeks, it will then proceed to the governor for his signature. We will keep you posted as the bill progresses.
Once again, a sincere appreciation is extended to everyone who participated in helping to make this bill a reality and most importantly helping to save lives.
When we think about those individuals impacted by the prescription drug epidemic we don't often think about its impact on young women as much as men, however, the alarming statistics provided by a recent report from the CDC highlight just how serious a problem this is for both men and women.
This stigma continues to stifle efforts to seek immediate professional help for those who are suffering from the disease of addition...if you know that your daughter, sister, wife, mother, or any other woman in your life needs assistance, contact the helpline at 800-238-2333 today.
On behalf of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey's staff and Board of Trustees, we want to share our appreciation and thankfulness to each of you for all that you do throughout the year to support our mission. We wish each of you and your families a happy and joyful Thanksgiving.
T is for the trust the pilgrims had so many years ago
H is for the harvest the settlers learnt to grow
A is for America, the land in which we live
N is for nature and beauty which she gives
K is for kindness, gentle words, thoughtful deeds
S is for smiles, the sunshine everyone needs
G is for gratitude... our blessings big and small
I is for ideas, letting wisdom grow tall
V is for voices, singing, laughing, always caring
I is for Indians, who taught them about sharing
N is for neighbors, across the street, over the sea
G is for giving of myself to make a better me
by Judith A. Lindberg
Yesterday, the United States Surgeon General issued the Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. This report is extremely significant as it is the first time in our country’s history that a Surgeon General has addressed the issue of substance abuse in such a prominent manner. In fact, the Surgeon General identified substance abuse as the #1 public health issue facing America.
As many of you remember, PDFNJ along with Sens. Menendez and Booker, hosted Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States, in New Jersey as part of his “Turn the Tide” tour addressing the opiate epidemic. During his visit, Surgeon General Murthy spoke about the fact that nearly 50% of his day is spent developing a response to the issue of substance abuse and its devastating impact on each and every community in NJ and throughout the country. We are very fortunate that the Surgeon General has committed his office to raising awareness about this important public health issue and challenging all of us to be part of the solution and help save lives.
National Speaker to Headline PDFNJ's 2nd Annual Breakfast for Families and Communities Impacted by Opiate Abuse
PDFNJ will be hosting its 2nd Annual Breakfast for Families and Communities Impacted by the Opiate Epidemic on Friday, November 18th at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville, New Jersey.
This event is building on the success of last year's standing room-only breakfast that provided NJ families an opportunity to learn the science behind the opiate epidemic that is impacting every community in our state. Building on this theme, we are pleased to announce that Julie Stancliff, D.O., a psychiatrist with over 20 years’ experience in intensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and psychiatric treatment, will be this year's keynote speaker. Dr. Stancliff will discuss the latest scientific developments in medically assisted treatment options including the success of VIVITROL, (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension), and its effectiveness in the treatment of prevention of relapse to opioid dependence following opioid detox.
The Citizens Campaign, a NJ non-profit, is challenging all NJ residents to take the Civic Challenge Pledge today. Taking the Pledge and joining your fellow citizens in the Civic Challenge moves our communities and our country onto the powerful path of practical problem solving, getting us out of the rut of rigid ideology and blame game politics.
By clicking here to take the pledge by 11:59pm on Sunday, October 30th you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win two orchestra seats for the Tony award winning best musical, Hamilton. Now, more than ever, citizens throughout our state need to become involved in creating solutions for the communities we live and work in.