• Obituaries that Identify Heroin Addiction Raise Awareness for NJ Families

    Posted 2/3/2017 by Angelo M. Valente

    This past October over 2,000 volunteers canvassed neighborhoods and doctors’ offices throughout NJ to bring awareness to the prescription drug and heroin epidemic. There are too many NJ families that are suffering from the disease of addiction. It is so important to focus the public’s attention on identifying early signs and symptoms of addiction. Equally important is preventing unnecessary exposure to prescribed opiate medication that for so many young people becomes a first step to heroin abuse. 

    On Thursday, reported on the Oswald Family’s obituary for their son, Andrew, who died from an overdose of heroin. Much like Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day, the Oswald Family has decided to share their personal tragedy in order to bring greater attention to the opioid epidemic which knows no political, demographic, geographic, or economic boundaries.

    PDFNJ extends its condolences to the Oswald Family, and thanks them for their brave and crucial decision to share their personal journey so that other NJ families understand that this disease can strike anywhere and anyone.

    The second annual Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day will be held on Friday, October 6, 2017. Details to be released in future blog posts. 

  • NJ Attorney General Releases Plan to Address Opiate Epidemic

    Posted 1/25/2017 by Angelo M. Valente

    Since 2008, the centerpiece of PDFNJ’s prevention efforts has focused on the link between prescription drugs and the heroin epidemic. Over the last nine years, PDFNJ developed innovative public awareness initiatives that were replicated throughout the country. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) recognized PDFNJ twice in the last five years for these efforts. During these years, PDFNJ collaborated with thousands of law enforcement officers, medical professionals, prevention and treatment leaders, and most importantly – parents who have experienced this devastating disease firsthand. PDFNJ also interacted with legislators in New Jersey and across the country to share our unique knowledge and experience in developing solutions to end this epidemic.


    We are so pleased that Governor Christie through Attorney General Porrino has proposed a comprehensive plan of action that places equal emphasis on treatment and prevention. PDFNJ looks forward to working with Governor Christie and his administration as well as the NJ legislature in saving lives. 


  • NJTV Honors PDFNJ

    Posted 1/18/2017 by Angelo M. Valente

    Yesterday I had the great honor and privilege of receiving the NJTV Everyday Heroes Award on behalf of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.  PDFNJ was recognized for its efforts in leading the statewide prevention initiative in addressing the opiate epidemic in New Jersey and throughout the country. 

    I received this award along with five other individuals who have, and continue to be, leaders in the fields of prevention, treatment and advocacy as New Jersey responds to the prescription drug and heroin epidemic that is impacting every community in our state.  I’d like to congratulate my fellow honorees:  Christopher Johnston, M.D. of Endeavor House; Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato;  Parent Advocate Patty DiRenzo; Paul Ressler of TOPAC; and Stephen Stirling of New Jersey Advance Media. 

    Over the past year, NJ-TV has hosted a series of community forums to address New Jersey’s ongoing drug crisis and opiate epidemic.

  • Holidays, Siblings and Recovery

    Posted 1/11/2017 by Angelo M. Valente

    I am pleased to share this week’s blog from Donna DeStefano, a colleague and dear friend who was one of the moms featured in PDFNJ's website

  • Happy New Year!

    Posted 12/30/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    In lieu of this week’s blog, PDFNJ would like to wish all of our subscribers and their families a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year!

  • We Are One Step Closer!

    Posted 12/21/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    As a reader of this blog, you have heard on numerous occasions about PDFNJ’s efforts to support a law in NJ that would require prescribers to have a conversation with the parents or guardians of children under the age of 18 prior to prescribing opiates. The conversation would include information about the addictive qualities of opiates as well as non-opiate alternatives that may be available. The bill passed the NJ Senate last month under the sponsorship of NJ Sens. Vitale and Weinberg. I am pleased to report that this bill (A3424/S2156) was approved unanimously by the NJ General Assembly on Monday, December 19th and is now headed to Governor Christie’s desk for his signature. The bill was sponsored in the Assembly by Assembly Members Lagana, Pinkin, Vainieri Huttle, Caride, Caputo & Wimberly.

    We cannot begin to list and thank all of the individuals and organizations that supported this life saving measure, however Elaine Pozycki, Co-Chair of PDFNJ, deserves special recognition for her tireless efforts and unwavering support in championing this bill for the last two and a half years. This past Monday, Elaine likened the passage of this bill to a Christmas miracle. I couldn’t agree more!

    On behalf of all of us at PDFNJ, we hope you have a safe, happy, and joyful holiday with those you love. 

  • Statewide Candlelight Vigil to Launch Call to Action on NJ’s Opiate Epidemic

    Posted 12/14/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    New Jersey continues to be in the grip of the national prescription drug and heroin epidemic. In recognition of the people, families, and loved ones affected, and to honor of the lives taken by addiction a Candlelight Vigil - Call to Action will be hosted by Gov. Chris Christie next Wednesday, December 21st beginning at 4pm on the steps of the Statehouse. All are welcome to attend this significant vigil by following the steps detailed in the Governor’s invitation.

    Last year over 900 NJ families lost a loved one to the prescription drug and opiate epidemic as reported today by the Star Ledger. Now more than ever we need to reenergize our efforts to challenge and engage all stakeholders. With the leadership of NJ’s prevention and treatment communities parents, educators, law enforcement, medical professionals, and our government leaders need to take any and all steps necessary to reverse these extremely alarming trends and save the lives of our neighbors, families, and friends. 

  • Parental Notification Bill Passes NJ Assembly Health Committee with Unanimous Support

    Posted 12/7/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Over the last two and a half years PDFNJ has championed a bill in the NJ Legislature that would require prescribers (physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, etc.) to have a conversation with parents/guardians of patients 18 and under before prescribing opiates. The conversation would inform parents and patients of the potential addictive quality of these medicines and provide non-opiate alternatives that are available. This hurdle could not have been cleared without the support of so many of you who have written letters of support, called your local legislators, and attended prevention leadership meetings over the last two and a half years.

    The next step for Bill A3424/S2156 is a full vote in the General Assembly.  The bill passed the Senate on 10/20/16 by 35-1 vote. If the General Assembly votes on the bill in the next several weeks, it will then proceed to the governor for his signature. We will keep you posted as the bill progresses.

    Once again, a sincere appreciation is extended to everyone who participated in helping to make this bill a reality and most importantly helping to save lives.   

  • Girls and Women Are Greatly Impacted by the Prescription Drug Epidemic Ravaging Our State

    Posted 11/30/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    When we think about those individuals impacted by the prescription drug epidemic we don't often think about its impact on young women as much as men, however, the alarming statistics provided by a recent report from the CDC highlight just how serious a problem this is for both men and women.

    This stigma continues to stifle efforts to seek immediate professional help for those who are suffering from the disease of addition...if you know that your daughter, sister, wife, mother, or any other woman in your life needs assistance, contact the helpline at 800-238-2333 today.

  • Happy Thanksgiving from the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey

    Posted 11/23/2016 by Angelo M. Valente

    On behalf of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey's staff and Board of Trustees, we want to share our appreciation and thankfulness to each of you for all that you do throughout the year to support our mission. We wish each of you and your families a happy and joyful Thanksgiving. 


    T is for the trust the pilgrims had so many years ago
    H is for the harvest the settlers learnt to grow
    A is for America, the land in which we live
    N is for nature and beauty which she gives
    K is for kindness, gentle words, thoughtful deeds
    S is for smiles, the sunshine everyone needs
    G is for gratitude... our blessings big and small
    I is for ideas, letting wisdom grow tall
    V is for voices, singing, laughing, always caring
    I is for Indians, who taught them about sharing
    N is for neighbors, across the street, over the sea
    G is for giving of myself to make a better me

    by Judith A. Lindberg

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