• Guest Blog: Rutgers Effort to Address the Opioid Crisis in NJ

    Posted 12/16/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    This week’s guest blogger, Muzdalifa Syed of Rutgers University, is sharing some information with us about the Rutgers Interdisciplinary Opioid Trainers (RIOT) Program, which aims to reduce the stigma associated with opioid use disorder and educate people about medication-assisted treatment in the fight against the opioid crisis.


    The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) recently held a webinar presentation in collaboration with Rutgers on the RIOT Program as part of the Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Learning Series. To view that presentation, please click here.


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

  • Guest Blog: Handle With Care Initiative

    Posted 12/9/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    In October, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued a statewide directive requiring all police departments to implement the Handle With Care Program in an effort to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma that New Jersey school-aged children may experience.


    This week’s guest blogger, Christopher A. Jakim, Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, shares some information about the Handle With Care New Jersey Initiative and how this program will help children who struggle with ACEs.

  • Substance Use Disorder Linked to Covid-19 Susceptibility

    Posted 12/2/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    A recent National Institute of Health (NIH) study revealed some stark news. People with substance use disorder are more susceptible to Covid-19 and more likely to be hospitalized or die from it.


    The study analyzed non-identifiable health records of patients in the United States and found that the hospitalization rate for people with substance use disorder (SUD) was 41 percent as compared with 30 percent of those without it.  The death rate was 9.6 percent for people with substance use disorder and 6.6 percent for those without.

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Posted 11/25/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and gratitude. I would like to take a moment to thank all of you for your continued support of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. On behalf of all of us at PDFNJ, I wish you all a healthy and safe Thanksgiving. We recognize this year will not be the same as years past, but we still have many things to be grateful for and hope for brighter times in 2021.

  • 2020 New Jersey Ad Club Awards

    Posted 11/17/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    Last week, we had the opportunity to take part in the New Jersey Ad Club Jersey Awards Virtual Presentation. It is always a fun night that those of us at the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) look forward to attending.


    The NJ Ad Club is the oldest and largest trade association in New Jersey and this year marked the 52nd annual award program, which showcases the best advertising and marketing efforts in the state. This year's event attracted more than 400 entries in 127 categories from more than 60 agencies, companies, and non-profits across the state.

  • Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey Music Competition is Underway

    Posted 11/9/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    Music is a powerful tool that can be used to influence and inspire people. With this in mind, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) created the New Jersey Shout Down Drugs music competition in 2005 as a way to challenge New Jersey high school students to create original music and lyrics with powerful substance use prevention messages.


    This year, PDFNJ is rebranding the competition with an updated name Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey. It is a new name that fully encompasses what the competition is about – challenging teens to deliver peer-to-peer original music, songs and lyrics in their original style, whether it be rap, hip-hop, rock or any other genre they might be into.

  • American Medicine Chest National Day of Awareness

    Posted 11/4/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    Prescription drug abuse continues to be a problem in New Jersey and the rest of the country. A study conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers indicated they got them from a friend or relative.


    During these trying times it is more important than ever that we safeguard our homes and families from the danger of prescription drugs and the opioid crisis.  The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) 5-step challenge can help save the lives of our children.  We know that many teens who misuse opioids get them from the medicine cabinet of their friends and families so it is crucial for people to safeguard medicine with their homes.

  • 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

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