• Rural Communities Site Drug Abuse As A Top Concern

    Posted 1/28/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    A new study released this month revealed that rural Americans are just as worried about drug addiction as they are economic conditions in their communities.  New Jersey has a population of over 8 million residents of which nine percent live in rural areas, encompassing seven of the twenty-one counties in the state. These counties are Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Cumberland, Salem, Atlantic, and Cape May.


    The study conducted in 2018 and 2019, was an open-ended survey of 2,700 rural adults and aimed to identify the major concerns of rural voters. It found that 25 percent of rural American said opioid or drug addiction was the biggest concern for their community, and 21 percent sites the same for economic conditions. This strikingly illustrates the dramatic toll of addiction on our rural communities.

  • New Jersey Becomes The First State to Ban Flavored Vaping Products

    Posted 1/22/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    I am proud to report that New Jersey just became the first state in the nation to ban flavored vaping products. I would like to applaud Governor Murphy for signing the bill into law on Monday, as well as, thank the leadership and members of the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly for supporting this bill. Flavored vaping products are especially appealing to children and teens, and this ban will hopefully help to diminish the appeal of vaping and decrease the chance of kids becoming hooked on these dangerous products.

  • The Loss Of A Great Advisor to The Partnership – Powell T. Stevenson

    Posted 1/15/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    It is with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Powell T. Stevenson. Powell was a loyal and dedicated member of The Partnership For A Drug Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) Advisory Board for more than 15 years, and was truly committed to establishing and maintaining drug-free workspaces in the New Jersey business community. Powell devoted his life to safety and creating drug-free communities.  He was a Safety Consultant for more than 55 years, and was an active member on safety and drug-free committees, including NSMS, ASSP, NJ State Industrial Safety Committee and JCC.

  • Recipe for a Happy New Year

    Posted 1/1/2020 by Angelo M. Valente

    Take twelve whole months.

    Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness,
    hate, and jealousy.

    Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

    Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty, or
    thirty-one different parts,
    but don’t make up the whole batch at once.

  • Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

    Posted 12/25/2019 by Angelo M. Valente

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

  • The Power of Music

    Posted 12/18/2019 by Angelo M. Valente

    Did you know that music has the power to produce a similar euphoric effect in the brain as drugs? When a person experiences the sound of music it results in a release of dopamine, but at a natural rate. Studies show that music can also improve brain function, increase productivity, strengthen memory and learning, and equalize brain waves. It is because of these reasons that therapists use music in recovery treatment in order to familiarize the body with the feeling of a natural rush. 


    Music is also a helpful tool that can be used for substance use prevention, which is why PDFNJ created the New Jersey Shout Down Drugs music competition for New Jersey high school students. 

  • Underage Drinking

    Posted 12/11/2019 by Angelo M. Valente

    According to the Mayo Clinic, some children begin experimenting with alcohol or feeling pressure to drink during early adolescence, so it is important to begin having conversations about alcohol with your children at a young age.

    This holiday season serves as the perfect opportunity to have these conversations, as families will be all together and, most likely, alcohol will be present.


    I encourage you to use this time of the year to talk with your children about the dangers of underage drinking and the importance of making healthy decisions. If you are unsure about how to approach the conversation, you can use the following suggestions offered by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Treatment Facilities for NJ Teens With Substance Use Disorder Disappearing

    Posted 12/3/2019 by Angelo M. Valente

    Residential treatment centers for teenagers battling with substance use have disappeared across New Jersey. Daytop Village in Mendham is one of the two remaining in-patient treatment programs available for teens, but it might not be available much longer.


    In a recent article, James P. Curtin, president and chief executive officer of Daytop New Jersey, said the residential adolescent program will most likely close by the end of the year. He said that the issues with adolescent residential facilities began in 2014 when the state decided to move adolescent treatment programs to the N.J. Department of Children and Families, and there was widespread belief that keeping children with substance use problems in their homes rather than in institutions, such as Daytop, were sufficient. But as Curtin explains, there are some young adults whose drug use is too bad to treat at home and are in need of in-patient treatment.

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Posted 11/27/2019 by Angelo M. Valente

    As we enter the holiday season, I would like to take a moment to say thank you to all those who support the mission of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. 

    It is through each of your collaborative efforts and support that we are able to make strides in stemming the tides of addiction and knocking out opioid abuse in New Jersey.

    On behalf of the team here at PDFNJ, I thank you and wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family.

  • New Research on Vaping

    Posted 11/19/2019 by Angelo M. Valente

    Since the recent outbreak of vaping-related illnesses in the country, doctors and scientists have been conducting studies to understand the effects and possible health risks linked to e-cigarette use.


    New research from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA shows vaping may be worse for heart health than tobacco cigarettes, despite the common belief that e-cigarettes are the safer alternative. The study compared the hearts of 10 non-smokers to the hearts of 10 tobacco smokers and 10 e-cigarette smokers after mild exercise. According to Dr. Florian Rader, coauthor of the study and a heart specialist at Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute, the results suggest that “e-cigarettes cause an abnormality that impedes blood flow regulation in the heart.”


    This was one of the first studies on the heart-health effects of vaping that found a connection between vaping and an increased risk of heart attack, but it is certainly not the first study that links e-cigarette use to serious health risks. This is especially concerning, considering e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among both middle and high school students, many of which believe that vaping is harmless.

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