Lt. Governor Guadagno, Religious Leaders Gather To Address NJ’s Opiate Abuse Epidemic


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2015

Angela Conover, 201-916-1030,


Lt. Governor Guadagno, Religious Leaders Gather To Address NJ’s Opiate Abuse Epidemic


MORRISTOWN – Turning to a faith leader to help address substance abuse addiction in a loved one is often the first step for a family and Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) recently coordinated a free training to provide resources and information to those leaders. 

New Jersey Lt. Governor Guadagno and PDFNJ Ex. Director Angelo M. Valente

The Faith Based Do No Harm Symposium was held September 16, 2015 at Bethel AME Church of Morristown. The symposium was sponsored by PDFNJ, the Drug-Enforcement Administration-New Jersey Division, and The Coalition for a Safe and Health Morris.

The Honorable Kim Guadagno New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor attended the event geared toward developing solutions to the opiate epidemic plaguing our state and encouraged those in attendance to get involved in the fight against opiate abuse. “We need everyone’s help – including [the faith leaders here today] in saving our teenagers from dying from substance abuse,” said Gaudagno. 

“The opioid abuse problem is a plague currently threatening our communities locally and nationally. The Do No Harm symposium stressed that this is not a problem that can be solved by any one entity,” said Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA – New Jersey Division.

“Faith-based leaders and officials are valuable resources for those suffering from substance abuse – particularly during this epidemic of opiate abuse here in New Jersey, said Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ.

“This symposium is aimed at educating the religious community about this deadly epidemic and providing resources and information for them to assist the families in their congregations. Our objective is to better equip our religious community leaders to handle the opiate abuse epidemic in their congregations so we can save more lives,” said Valente.

Topics that were addressed at the Do No Harm Symposium were the current trends in substance abuse afflicting New Jersey families, the dynamic of addiction and how to prevent substance abuse, resources and information to assist those suffering from addiction, and key steps in supporting long-term recovery.

For more information on the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, visit


Best known for its statewide anti-drug advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication.  To date, more than $70 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception the Partnership has garnered 120 Advertising and Public Relations Awards from National, Regional & Statewide Media Organizations.