• ONDCP Policy Statement on Priorities

    Posted 4/14/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    On April 1, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released its statement of drug policy priorities for the first year of the Biden-Harris Administration. These policy priorities will hopefully save lives and address the challenges New Jersey and the rest of the country are facing due to the opioid epidemic.

  • A New Amendment to New Jersey’s Cannabis Laws

    Posted 4/7/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    The New Jersey State Assembly passed a bill last week amending the New Jersey Cannabis Laws, requiring a parent or guardian to be notified if a minor is found in possession of marijuana or alcohol on the first offense. The legislation originally did not allow law enforcement to notify parents if a minor is found with marijuana or alcohol until after a second offense.


    I strongly support this amendment and am hopeful that this is a step in the right direction in protecting today’s youth from experimenting with marijuana. The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) research has shown that parents who talk to their children for at least 15 minutes a day have children who are 67 percent less likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol.

  • Welcome Spring

    Posted 3/31/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    This weekend, we will usher in Easter and the start of Passover. I wanted to take a moment to wish all who celebrate a happy and joyous holiday. These holidays usually come at the beginning of spring, which is a season of change, growth and recovery. I wish for all New Jerseyans and our country that this will be a time of renewal and optimism for the future.

    Be well.

  • NJ Patient Notification Law Introduced by Congress to Help Prevent Opioid Addiction Nationally

    Posted 3/24/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    I wanted to let you know about the Opioid Patients’ Right to Know Act, a new law that has been introduced in Congress to help prevent opioid addiction across the country. This act would create a grant program to incentivize states to require prescribers to discuss the addictive qualities of the drugs with patients and inform them of alternative treatment options before prescribing them for acute pain.

  • One Year Anniversary of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Posted 3/16/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    Stigma is a major public health issue that describes negative attitudes or beliefs associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. The social stigma associated with the disease of addiction can be damaging to a person’s self-esteem, their relationship with loved ones, and can prevent those who have substance use disorder from seeking treatment.


    Shatterproof, a not-for-profit organization focused on addressing the addiction crisis in the United States, has published a new comprehensive addiction guide that draws attention to stigmatizing language around addiction and offers alternative words and phrases.

  • New Jersey’s New Cannabis Laws

    Posted 3/10/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    On February 22, New Jersey passed several laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. This new legislation will have far reaching implications for New Jersey communities, families and businesses.


    For families, this can be a teachable moment to talk with children about the effects marijuana can have on the developing mind and body. It could be an opportunity to have a family discussion or perhaps create a family policy of expectations regarding cannabis. The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) will continue to provide messaging to New Jersey residents about the potential impacts that marijuana can have on today’s youth.

  • A New Opioid Addiction Device to Aid in Withdrawal Symptoms

    Posted 3/3/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    I am happy to report that the FDA has cleared S.T. Genesis, a new non-invasive device that manages opioid withdrawal symptoms without any added medication.


    The device is having great success and can work quickly to wean patients off opioids. It worn behind the ear for five days and aids in the reduction of opioid withdrawal symptoms through application to the cranial and occipital nerves.

  • Drug Free USA Forever Stamp

    Posted 2/24/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is always looking to raise awareness about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and misuse. Sadly, too many lives are lost each year to drug overdoses due to illicit drug use.  There have been 3,021 suspected overdoses deaths in New Jersey in 2020, and more than 70,000 lives lost nationwide.


    We wanted to make you aware of recent collaboration between the United States Post Office (USPS) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that has unveiled a new stamp to promote the battle against drug abuse and drug abuse prevention.  The Drug Free USA Forever stamp will help publicize the dangers of illicit drug use and promote drug abuse prevention. It is available to purchase for the next year.

  • Guest Blog: Vaping and Marijuana

    Posted 2/17/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    This week’s guest blogger, Dr. Heather Athanasiou of Community in Crisis shares the latest information about vaping and marijuana, a troubling trend among today’s youth.


    Sadly, more and more young adults are vaping not only nicotine, but marijuana as well.  The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) recently launched a media campaign addressing the dangers and risks associated with young people using marijuana.

  • Guest Blog: Operation Helping Hand

    Posted 2/10/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    The ongoing pandemic continues to have a profound impact on those affected by substance use disorder.  In 2020, more than 2,300 people in New Jersey died of a drug overdose through September, a majority of which involved some form of opioid.


    Attorney General Gubir Grewal and the Office of the Attorney General have continued to support and collaborate with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) on a number of efforts to address the opioid crisis effecting our state, including our Law Enforcement ConferenceKnock Out Opioid Abuse Day, and participation in other PDFNJ/Horizon Knock Out Opioid Abuse Initiatives.

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