• Parents Refuse to Bury Truth About Son's Heroin Overdose Death

    Posted 4/27/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    We are losing too many young people to the opiate abuse epidemic. We need to take every and all steps to save them and prevent the loss of these lives. This includes advocating for legislation for safer prescribing and to ensure that parents are educated about the addictive qualities of the medicine children are being prescribed, as NJ Assembly Bill 3424 will accomplish.

  • PDFNJ RxForum Sparks Ideas On Addressing NJ's Heroin Epidemic [VIDEO]

    Posted 4/20/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    Last Friday before a standing-room only audience, PDFNJ brought together national and state leaders to evaluate where our state was, is, and need to be in addressing the prescription drug and heroin epidemic that is ravaging our communities across our state. The forum is the first of a series that is being planned by PDFNJ to bring together all stakeholders to develop strategies in prevention, treatment, and safe prescribing for implementation in NJ. NJTV, along with many other media outlets, covered the forum and featured its outcome on their new channel.

  • New CDC Guidelines Underscore Need for Change in Painkiller Prescribing Practices

    Posted 4/13/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    Below is an editorial by Steve and Elaine Pozycki. They are board members of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey with Elaine serving as Co-Chair. ------------------------------------------------Editorial: Guidelines recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention take direct aim at the over-prescribing of opiate-based painkillers, urging primary care doctors to try alternatives such as physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications first.

  • NJ Gathers on April 15th to Examine the Heroin Epidemic: Past, Present, and Future

    Posted 4/6/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    Next Friday April 15, 2016, PDFNJ will be hosting the first statewide comprehensive forum on Rx and Heroin Abuse examining the epidemic's beginnings, it's current impact in NJ, and specific plans to reverse this current trend. We are happy to report that the forum which will feature national and state experts is filled to capacity. It is gratifying and encouraging that so many individuals and groups throughout NJ will be attending this important forum focusing on saving lives. This upcoming forum was featured on Chris DeBello’s radio show, "Issues and Ideas" on April 3rd.

  • NJ Hospital 1st in the Nation to Provide Opioid Alternative to ER Patients

    Posted 3/30/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    I had the opportunity to participate in a press conference on Monday hosted by St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson. Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, and Congressman Pascrell were on hand to announce St. Joseph’s as the first hospital in the nation to stop prescribing opioids in their ER. Please share this news with your local hospital and ask them to join St. Joseph’s Hospital. Together we can start changing the culture of over-prescribing a drug that can be addictive and dangerous.

  • CDC Guidelines Aim to Curb Rx Abuse

    Posted 3/16/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    The release of the new "CDC Comprehensive Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain" is a solid first step addressing the opioid abuse epidemic we are facing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging primary care doctors to try physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before prescribing opioids for pain. These recommendations are in line with several experts who have participated in PDFNJ's Do No Harm symposium series. However, we know that these guidelines alone are not enough. Education is the key factor in preventing the abuse of opiates and it is vital that physicians inform patients of the potential for dependency when their medicine is prescribed, as well as discuss alternatives as outlined in the CDC guidelines. It is also important for patients, or the parents of patients, to ask their prescriber about the pain medicine they are prescribed.

  • The Surprising Path from Student Athlete to Heroin Addict [VIDEO]

    Posted 3/9/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    As we are hearing all too often from parents, coaches, and police many of our children who are addicted to heroin were introduced to this disease as a result of receiving an opiate prescription for a sports injury. The following video and article quotes the director, David Gerber, of St. Christopher's Inn in Garrison, NY explaining how, "These medications mask the pain but do nothing to treat the injury, …so it often worsens the injury, making the need for more medications, and they become addicted." Please share this blog with other families because it's crucial that everyone is aware of the addictive qualities certain medications prescribed to their children for sports injuries that occur.

  • Governors from Maine to Alaska tackle National Heroin Epidemic

    Posted 3/2/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    As the Heroin Epidemic continues to impact small towns, suburbs and cities throughout the country the National Governors Association has recently tackled the issue in this recent New York Times editorial. They are developing recommendations that include revised prescribing protocols and more active patient education. New Jersey's legislature has also been developing their own response that include a bill that would require doctors to have a conversation with parents of child prior to prescribing any opioids and also recommending alternative treatment options when they are available.

  • Some Health Professionals Starting to Change Prescribing Practices to Curb Abuse: Study

    Posted 2/24/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    Over the last two years the Partnership has hosted with the support of the DEA-NJ, prevention organizations, and health care systems a series called “Do No Harm” that engaged doctors, dentists, prevention, treatment, and law enforcement representatives to explore ways each group can help to end the prescription drug and heroin epidemic in New Jersey. A recent study demonstrates how important the NJ “Do No Harm” symposium series truly is. In fact, “This research underscores the critical importance of engaging health care providers fully in public health efforts to reverse the course of the prescription drug epidemic,” the researchers wrote in the Pain Physician Journal.

  • This N.J. Teen Fought Heroin. His Doctors Knew. His Parents Didn't. [VIDEO]

    Posted 2/17/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    The story of a young man who tragically succumbed to a heroin addiction has become all too common in New Jersey. In the story below, Justin Wolfe’s parents talk about their ignorance of his addiction. Parents must be given vital medical information about their children. When a child is given a prescription for a potentially addictive medicine, parents need to be aware so they can look for the signs and symptoms of abuse - and get the lifesaving treatment that child needs. The Wolfe’s are an example of a NJ family that turned their loss into a national and statewide effort to help others. Please read their compelling story.

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