PDFNJ Remembers Gerry Marini, Founder of Drugs Don't Work in NJ


New Jersey's substance abuse prevention and treatment community suffered a great loss last week with the passing of Gerry Marini, founder of Drugs Don't Work in New Jersey. Gerry was a pioneer in the field of substance abuse prevention and treatment, bringing conversation and action to businesses and work places throughout the state to help prevent substance abuse and bring treatment opportunities to the masses.

Gerry believed that helping someone suffering from addiction was good for the person, for the business community and for society. He took thought to action, beginning with his role as Executive Director of Drug Abuse Policy Initiatives for Hoffmann LaRoche Inc., where he played a leading role in the development of drug-free workplace throughout the United States.  From 1984 to 1989, Mr. Marini was President of Diagnostic Dimensions, Inc., a subsidiary of Hoffmann LaRoche Inc.  In this position, he helped companies develop and implement substance abuse intervention programs through a systematic approach of policy development, education, drug testing and referrals to employee assistance programs. He was the founder and Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Council for a Drug-Free Workplace, Inc., which merged with the Partnership for a Drug-Free NJ in 1999 where he served until his death as Executive Vice President of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.

From 1992 to 2006, Gerry served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Freedom House, a drug and alcohol treatment center here in New Jersey and a was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence from 1993 to 2009. He was also co-chair of the Private Sector Liaison Committee of the International Chiefs of Police.

Gerry served on the Board of Directors of the American Council for Drug Education, where he chaired the Workplace Drug Advisory Committee.  He was a member of the Employee Assistance Society of North America and the American Society for Industrial Security.   He also served as Chair of the International Drug-Free Workplace partnership in conjunction with the International Drug Control Program in Vienna.

Joseph “JP” Miele, founder of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey captured the feeling of the entire PDFNJ family with the following statement: “I’m shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Gerry Marini, a great man, a dedicated servant to millions of people through his dedication and work with substance abuse as the Founder of Drugs Don’t Work in New Jersey and with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. I cry when I think that his voice will no longer be a driving force in New Jersey and this country. As the founder of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, I sadly join the countless number of people who will always honor his memory, his dedication to saving lives from those suffering from this dreadful disease and, his winning smile that gave a joy to all people. Thank you Gerry and may God bless you forever. “

Gerry’s legacy is in those whose lives were touched by the substance abuse prevention and treatment he spent his life advocating for. His passion and dedication to eliminating substance abuse across New Jersey held steady through this career and he will be missed by all who knew him. The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Executive Director and staff, in particular, will miss Gerry for his over two decades of friendship, counsel, historical perspective and most especially his overwhelming kindness.

Donations to the Gerard A. ‘52 and Rita Marini Endowed Scholarship at Delaware Valley College, Delaware Valley University, Office of Institutional Advancement, 700 East Butler Avenue, Doylestown, PA, 18901, are appreciated. Please Note: checks should be made payable to Delaware Valley University, and the memo line should read "Gerard A. '52 and Rita Endowed Scholarship".

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Board of Trustees and staff extend heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Rita Marini and the entire Marini family on their great loss.