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  • Faith Leaders: First Responders to the Opiate Abuse Epidemic

    Posted 8/24/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    Stemming the tide of the opiate abuse epidemic impacting New Jersey cannot be done without all members of the community, including our Faith Based Leaders. The National Prevention Strategy calls on community, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations to support the implementation and enforcement of alcohol and drug control policies. This includes educating youth and adults about the risks of prescription drug misuse and increasing awareness on the proper storage and disposal of prescription medications. Over the past two years, PDFNJ has help symposiums to educate the faith community on how it can become engaged as the often times, first responders for families impacted by addiction. 

    Next month, on September 20th, a Do No Harm symposium for the faith-based Community symposium will be held to empower the religious community in Middlesex County and our state with information and education on preventing opiate abuse, and helping those who are addicted: REGISTER HERE

  • Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Fishing Tournament Kicks Off and Encourages Families to Spend Quality Time Together

    Posted 8/19/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    Time off from school, plenty of sunshine, and the hot days of summer are the perfect tools for enjoying quality time with family. The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is encouraging the way to do just that: participating in the second annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online New Jersey Family Fishing Tournament. 

    From Friday, August 19 at 12:01 a.m. to Sunday, August 28 at 11:59 p.m., children 18 years of age or younger can enjoy a family fishing trip, take a picture posing with their family and post it with the hashtag #drugfreenj. Pictures can be posted by liking PDFNJ’s Facebook page at Drug-Free NJ or by following PDFNJ on Twitter and Instagram. 

  • U.S. Surgeon General Calls on Prescribers to Mobilize to Prevent Opioid Abuse

    Posted 8/10/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    (l-r) U.S Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Executive Director Angelo Valente, and NJ Sen. Bob Menendez discuss Murthy’s plan to issue the first ever Surgeon General’s report on Addiction and Health.

    On Monday, through the efforts of Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Cory Booker,  I was honored to moderate a panel discussion featuring both U.S. Senators, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Under Secretary for Health Dr. David Shulkin to discuss the opiate epidemic and steps being taken to stem the tide of this public health crisis that is impacting millions of NJ residents and Americans.

    As all of PDFNJ’s subscribers understand, since 2009 PDFNJ has been a leading voice and advocate for initiatives and legislation to help protect all family members, but particularly our children from the scourges of prescription drugs and heroin dependency. We are losing too many of our family, friends, and neighbors and we need to do everything possible to educate both prescribers and patients about the fact that opioids can become addictive and in many instances lead to heroin addiction. It is for this reason that the passage of NJ Assembly Bill 3424 is so crucial in protecting our children and families. This bill would require doctors and other prescribers, when treating a patient under 18 years of age, to discuss the potential risks of dependency with the patient and their parents before writing a prescription for opiate-based painkillers, as well as to review non-opiate alternative treatments when appropriate.

    We need everyone’s help if we are truly going to turn the tide and reverse the epidemic in New Jersey and our country. Over the next several weeks we will be sharing with you an update on this and other legislation, as well as details about an upcoming statewide day of awareness, Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day, that will be held in every community on October 6, 2016.

    During the panel discussion of the U.S. Surgeon General’s tour of NJ, each of the speakers stressed the fact that the opiate epidemic must have immediate steps taken in order for our state and our country to realize any progress…

    I could not agree more! 

  • Surgeon General: We Have To ‘Change How Our Country Sees Addiction’

    Posted 8/3/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    With the leadership of New Jersey’s United States Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is pleased to welcome United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to New Jersey for a Forum on Addiction and Healing on August 8, 2016. Limited seats are still available, register today to guarantee your participation!

  • N.J. Doctors in Trouble for Allegedly Over-Prescribing Narcotics

    Posted 7/27/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    Over the last 2 years PDFNJ has hosted a series of trainings called "Do No Harm" for our state’s medical community. Close to 2,000 physicians and dentists have attended one of these symposiums and learned about the potential additive qualities that certain pain medicines can have on some patients. Based on the new undisputed understanding about the links between prescription drugs and heroin it is extremely concerning when there are still doctors in our state that are being charged, and in many cases convicted, for over-prescribing. Prescribing opiates without proper patient evaluation can potentially lead to addition. Doctors can and should be an important resource in reversing the heroin epidemic that New Jersey and our country are facing.

  • PDFNJ: U.S. Senators Bob Menendez & Cory Booker Host a Forum on Addiction and Healing

    Posted 7/21/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    With the leadership of New Jersey’s United States Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is pleased to invite you to join us as we welcome United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to New Jersey for a Forum on Addiction and Healing on August 8, 2016. Joined by Under Secretary for Health at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and moderated by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, Surgeon General Murthy, Senators Menendez and Booker, will address New Jersey’s Heroin and Opioid Abuse Crisis at this forum.

  • Sunday, July 17th - Day of Awareness and Memorial

    Posted 7/13/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    The TalkNowNJ.Com website was designed to help raise awareness about the opiate abuse epidemic that is devastating families across the state. Four moms whose lives were forever changed by their children's addiction to opiates came together to help PDFNJ share information about the signs and symptoms of opiate abuse. This selfless effort helps other parents identify substance use disorders in their children and get them treatment, as well as reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and recovery. PDFNJ’s Co-Chair Elaine Pozycki, PICK Awareness’s Donna DeStefano, Meg Parisi and Abby Boxman - all four of the mom’s featured in the TalkNowNJ.Com video - tirelessly continue to share these messages and work to reduce stigma in their own ways. This Sunday, July 17th, Abby Boxman and the Boxman Family will be holding a Day of Awareness and Memorial – an afternoon of educating the community about New Jersey's prescription drug/opioid epidemic. It will be held at the North Howell Little League on Oakerson Rd., and feature the New Jersey Shouts Down Drugs second place winner Michelle Greco, among others.

  • Study Links Early Childhood Trauma to Increased Substance Abuse

    Posted 7/6/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    As substance use disorders become an even larger public health concern for so many families, researchers are trying to identify pre-existing conditions that may be an important indicator in developing targeted prevention initiatives. In a recent study, Canadian researchers have found that early childhood trauma was an important leading indicator in future substance abuse disorders and alcohol abuse. At a recent conference held in Maryland and hosted by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program (HIDTA) that I attended, several pilot programs are now in effect across our country that trigger communications between law enforcement and school counselors once children are witness to, or involved in, a traumatic experience in their homes. The purpose of these programs is to immediately provide all the necessary support for those children that school districts have available to them.

  • More Teens Believe Marijuana Use Will Have no Effect on their Health

    Posted 6/29/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    For several decades, research has demonstrated that the perception of risk is directly correlated with the level of experimentation and use of marijuana and other drugs. This is especially true for teenagers, and based on a recent article by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) there is significant reason for concern. This study highlights the fact that the perception of risk is decreasing among U.S. teens when it comes to their opinions about the dangers of marijuana use. According to SAMHSA’s 2014 Drug Use and Health Report, only one in five teenagers perceived marijuana as a health risk and a staggering 1.8 million adolescents admit to using marijuana in the past month. To learn more about marijuana, visit the drug encyclopedia located on PDFNJ’s website.

  • ABC News Reveals the Realities of Addiction in America [VIDEO]

    Posted 6/22/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    Substance abuse disorders don't just have an effect on one age, demographic or community. This week, ABC News produced a video that is crucial for everyone to watch. A little over a minute into the video it states several staggering statistics on the effects of addiction in the United States. This video provides an outline on everything; from how many young adults try illicit drugs for the first time to the number of addiction treatment facilities currently open in the United States.

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