National and State Leaders Gather at CarePoint to Develop Solutions to NJ Opioid Abuse Epidemic


Press Release: June 10, 2016

Contact: Angela Conover,, 201-916-1030,


National and State Leaders Gather at CarePoint to Develop Solutions to NJ Opioid Abuse Epidemic


HOBOKEN-- With New Jersey in the grips of an opioid abuse epidemic, physicians from across the county and state gathered at the CarePoint Health’s Hoboken University Medical Center for the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) Do No Harm Symposium, today, to discuss and develop solutions to stem this public health crisis. They were joined by representatives of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Dr. Andrew Kolodny from Physicians for responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) and CarePoint Health, who hosted the event.

“Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that the prescribing of opioids by clinicians has increased threefold in the last 20 years. Today, the number of people who die from prescription opioids exceeds the number of those who die from heroin and cocaine, combined,” said Angelo M. Valente, executive director of PDFNJ. “With opioid abuse at catastrophic levels in our state, the Do No Harm symposium allows leaders and stakeholders from the medical community and law enforcement to come together to discuss solutions for opioid abuse in our state. There are no easy answers. Today, we gathered not to assign blame or look for scapegoats but instead to find and discuss real common sense solutions to this epidemic that is ravaging New Jersey,” explained Valente.

Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration added, “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.  There needs to be cooperation among law enforcement, prevention organizations, physicians and pharmacists to help tackle this issue.”

“CarePoint Health is happy to host this important meeting to ensure physicians are doing their part to combat opioid abuse,” said Dr. Nizar Kifaieh, System Chief Medical Officer of CarePoint Health.   “We are on the front lines of this epidemic and will do whatever it takes to help stem the tide of opioid abuse,” he added.   

“The CarePoint Health Foundation is proud to underwrite this program especially in light of the shockingly high rates of opioid abuse in our community,” said Paula Nevoso, President of the CarePoint Health foundation.  “This type of programing is central to our mission.  We look forward to future colaberation with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey,” she concluded. 

National and local abuse trends were discussed at the symposium, including safer prescribing, the importance of informing patients of the potential for dependency of the medicine they prescribe and other legal and medical solutions. According to the CDC, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999 –  from 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids, and prescribing continues to fuel this epidemic with at least half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involving a prescription opioid. In 2014, more than 14,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.


About CarePoint Health

CarePoint Health brings quality, patient-focused health care to Hudson County. Combining the resources of three area hospitals – Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital in Jersey City, and Hoboken University Medical Center – CarePoint Health provides a new approach to deliver health care that puts the patient front and center. We leverage a network of top doctors, nurses and other medical professionals whose expertise and attentiveness work together to provide complete coordination of care, from the doctor’s office to the hospital to the home. Patients benefit from the expertise and capabilities of a broad network of leading specialists and specialized technology. At CarePoint Health, all of our medical professionals emphasize preventive medicine and focus on educating patients to make healthy life choices. For more information on our facilities, partners and services, visit us at