• Providing Comprehensive Care for Adults with Special Needs

    Posted 4/10/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    A recent blog addressed the need for adolescent treatment for substance use. This NJ Spotlight  article offers a look at several programs in our state that are serving adults with special needs, including the Rowan-Virtual Regional Integrated Special Needs Center in Sewell, the Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth and the recent effort underway by the state for a new service program known as START (Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment), a mobile crisis prevention and response program.

  • Time to Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet

    Posted 4/3/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    As the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is on April 27th, I wanted to remind you to take stock of your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of any unused or expired medication. 

  • Celebrating Recovery as Part of Alcohol Awareness Month

    Posted 3/27/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    When one considers the overall impact on health, family dynamics, academics and employment, the use, misuse and abuse of alcohol remains a major issue that still merits our full attention. As we approach Alcohol Awareness Month in April, I encourage all of you to address the harmful effects of alcohol in your community.

  • Guest Blog: Finding Treatment for a Teenager – A Parent’s Worst Nightmare

    Posted 3/20/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    Today, we are very pleased to have a guest blog from Jim Curtin, Chief Business Administrator and Government Relations Officer for Acenda Integrated Health. For many years Jim and his team did an outstanding job providing life-saving treatment for thousands of teens at Daytop New Jersey.

  • Conference to Highlight Risks of Opioid Misuse Among Youth Athletes

    Posted 3/13/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    Sports can serve an important role in a child’s development. In addition to providing healthy forms of exercise, athletics foster friendships and camaraderie, promote sportsmanship and fair play, and instill the value of competition.


    However, sports may also lead to injury and, in rare cases, result in pain that is severe or long-lasting enough to require a prescription opioid painkiller. Studies have found that youth who participate in athletics may be at a greater risk to engage in nonmedical prescription opioid use because of greater risk of injury or because of a greater opportunity to receive diverted opioid medications from teammates. A recent national study found that youth who participated in high-injury sports, such as football and wrestling, were at greater risk to misuse prescription pain medications.

  • High School Students Use their Voices to Sing & Promote Prevention - Your Song! Your Voice!

    Posted 3/6/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs high school music and songwriting competition is back for its 20th year!  The deadline is March 24th. Teenagers who are into making music won’t want to miss this opportunity to have their songs heard by tens of thousands of people and promote their music during the online voting at Winners of the competition sign an actual music contract with PDFNJ that requires them to perform several times throughout the state after the competition. The deadline to submit your original music is March 24th.

  • Recent Incident Highlights Need for More Marijuana Education

    Posted 2/28/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    The issue of edibles and the overall legalization of adult use of marijuana has made the work for all New Jersey school districts more challenging. Parents, who are now using marijuana in the home, need to be educated on what to do, as well as what not to do, to keep their children safe and why it is harmful for their kids to start early use. One obvious practice that must be utilized is for parents to secure their marijuana products in a manner that prevents easy access by their children.

  • The Addiction Crisis in San Francisco & The Need for Meaningful Discussion about Drug Culture

    Posted 2/21/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    I am sharing this insightful article that describes not only the addiction crisis in San Francisco but also brings up the need for a meaningful discussion about “drug culture” in the United States. 

  • “Gas Station Heroin” an Emerging Threat in New Jersey

    Posted 2/14/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    Gas Station Heroin is an emerging threat in our state and we will be focusing this topic during the upcoming Knock Out Opioid Abuse Learning Series Webinar on February 29.


    Expert panelists Bruce Ruck, PharmD, from the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System and Matthew Salzman, MD, of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University will discuss “Emerging Threats Within the Opioid Crisis.”

  • Why Parents Who Lost Children to an Overdose Are Suing Snapchat

    Posted 2/7/2024 by Angelo M. Valente

    Preventing our youth from experimenting with alcohol, marijuana and other drugs has been a perennial challenge for parents. Today, in our world impacted so heavily by social media, that challenge is now made even more difficult. We know that part of the adolescent brain is geared toward experimenting and trying new things, and that can be healthy and a natural part of one’s overall development.

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