The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Student Athletes [VIDEO]




"We are pleased to be joined by our good friend Angelo Valente, executive director of a great organization called The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. Good to see you Ang. Good to see you Steve. Thank you. I'd say about seven or eight years we've been having conversations, if not longer, about this. Opioid crisis. How much better off are we than we were, just say, two years ago, in terms of public awareness? I think we've made great strides, in New Jersey and throughout the country, on the opioid epidemic. What we've seen is that families, for example, are willing to challenge a physician or a dentist who might be prescribing an opioid for a child, because they realize that there may be some safe alternatives, and there may not be a need for an opioid. And we also have learned, over the last several years, that only a short-term use of opioids can lead to dependency and addiction. For example, if someone takes an opiate for five days, that's when the brain starts changing. And we know that if someone takes an opiate for 30 days, that they might be much more likely to be dependent on opiates. And in many cases, it leads to a dependency and an addiction of heroin. What is the Knockout Opioid Abuse camp... is it a campaign? An initiative? What is it? It's a whole effort on the part of Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, as well as The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, have come together. Right. And we started this about four years ago. And the first phase, the first two years, what we did is we had a series of town hall meetings. And the reason we did this is we thought it was important, and we did it on a county-by-county basis, in the 21 counties. Right. We wanted to really shine a spotlight on this issue. We wanted to bring together decision makers, people in recovery, the medical community all to look at this issue from different perspectives, and to really develop solutions, highlight some of the best practices that were taking place throughout the state, and we were very fortunate. NJTV, at the conclusion of those two years of town halls, hosted a one-hour special. NJTV... by the way, go on... I'm sorry for interrupting. Go on the NJTV News website. Put it right up, if we could team. Go on that website. There's a one-hour special that is not to be missed. Yes. It was incredibly powerful. And still is. Watch it now. Go ahead. I'm sorry. So as we concluded that first phase, what was decided, on the part of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Partnership, was that we had to..."