Together We Can End The Opioid Crisis

In this week’s blog, we complete the theme of sharing personal stories of those who have been affected by substance use disorder with a personal story from Elaine Pozycki, Chairperson of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ).

Elaine has been a true leader in the fight against the opioid epidemic and helping to raise awareness and educate people about the dangers of prescription opioids. Her story explains the very important need for patients and their caregivers to know the real dangers of opioids and that safer alternatives are available.

One important step in raising awareness is to support the Opioid Patients’ Right to Know Act. This would create a grant program incentivizing states to have prescribers discuss the addictive qualities of opioids with patients and inform them of alternative treatment options before prescribing them for acute pain. Prevent Opioid Abuse has created a simple way for you to show support. Click here to easily enter your name and address for a letter to be automatically be sent to your congressional representative asking to show support for this act.

All the best, 
Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ


By Elaine Pozycki

My family, like so many other families, was devastated by the loss of our son Stevie to the opioid epidemic. Stevie developed a dependency and addiction to opioids after they were prescribed following a sports injury in college he received for a rotator cuff surgery. When he was prescribed these powerful drugs, neither he nor I were given any information on how addictive these drugs could be or how fast dependency begins.

I truly believe that had my son or I been told of the potential for dependency or addiction of the opioids he was prescribed, he would be alive today.

Had I only known how addictive these drugs could be, I would have decided to look for alternatives and I would have known to look for the signs and symptoms of dependency and addiction.

I had no idea that those prescriptions for opioids I was picking up to help my son actually had the same effect on his brain and body as heroin.


If the doctor had been required to have a simple conversation to explain to me what was being prescribed to my son, about the dangers of opioids, or alternatives that existed, it would have saved his life.


Notice: This article reflects the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ). This information should not be construed as legal advice from the author or PDFNJ. Please consult your own attorney before making any legal decisions.

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