• Overdose Deaths Reach An All-Time High

    Posted 12/15/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    The CDC recently reported that drug overdose deaths in the United States topped 100,000 annually for the first time during the 12-month period ending in April 2021. I read about these statistics in a New York Times article and followed up with a Letter to the Editor. While most states saw an upward trend, New Jersey was one of three states that did not.

  • Guest Blog: The Opioid Epidemic is Surging as the Pandemic Drags On

    Posted 12/8/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    I wanted to share this important article written by Elaine Pozycki, Chair of PDFNJ. She is also the founder of Prevent Opioid Abuse - a national organization working to educate patients and parents about the risks of opioid-based pain relievers and the availability of non-opioid alternatives.


    I share her sentiments about the opioid epidemic in our state. It is more important than ever that we act to help raise awareness about the dangers of opioids.


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

  • Vaping Marijuana Among Teens is at an All-Time High

    Posted 12/1/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    A recent article shared a study finding that the number of teens in America who vape marijuana has doubled in recent years, and there is evidence that they prefer using infused oil that can deliver a much stronger high.


    Medical and adolescent mental health experts in New Jersey who reviewed the study say this trend must be combatted with a clear message, taught in school and inscribed on packaging labels, emphasizing how marijuana harms the developing brain. I strongly share this concern.

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Posted 11/24/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives. - John F. Kennedy

    As Thanksgiving approaches it is a perfect time to reflect on those things for which we are most grateful. I would like to take a moment to thank all of you for your continued support of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, and wish you and your loved ones a healthy and safe Thanksgiving.

  • Anchor of Hope at Pillar College

    Posted 11/17/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    This week’s guest authors are Professor Gerry Cleave and Dr. Maxine Bradshaw of Pillar Collage. They share information about the Anchor of Hope at Pillar College, a venture of Pillar College and the Anchor of Hope Alliance.

    The goal of Anchor of Hope is to assist people with substance use disorders and to stem the use of drugs, especially opioids, in Paterson, New Jersey. The vision of Prof. Cleaves & Dr. Bradshaw is that the Anchor of Hope Alliance model will be transferable to other NJ colleges and universities.

  • American Medicine Chest Challenge National Day of Awareness is This Saturday

    Posted 11/10/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    This Saturday, November 13th, is the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) American Medicine Chest Challenge National Day of Awareness. A national public health initiative to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and encourage safe disposal of prescription drugs through the American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC).


    The AMCC 5-step challenge can help save the lives of our children.  We know that many teens who misuse opioids get them from the medicine cabinet of their friends and families so it is crucial for people to safeguard medicine within their homes.

  • Half of Opioid Prescriptions for Young People Found to Be High Risk

    Posted 11/3/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    I recently read a study that found children and young adults who experience pain from routine dental care or oral surgery are frequently exposed to unsafe and unnecessary opioid prescriptions.


    The researchers looked at more than 4 million opioid prescriptions given to people under 21 in 2019, and nearly half of them were deemed high-risk for exceeding recommended doses or including a combination of drugs not recommend for children. It also found that the top 5 percent of prescribers accounted for 53 percent of opioid prescriptions for children and young adults overall and 53 percent of high-risk prescriptions.

  • Sixth Annual Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Was A Great Success

    Posted 10/27/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    As October is drawing to a close, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of the New Jersey residents, businesses, community leaders that helped the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey raise awareness and shine a light on the opioid epidemic that continues to plague our state and the nation. Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day was held October 6, and I am thrilled that many people continued to share important messages about the dangers of prescribed opioids and their link to heroin and fentanyl, not just on the Knock Out Day, but all month long.

  • PDFNJ Wins 12 NJ Ad Club Awards

    Posted 10/20/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    I am thrilled to report that the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) has received 12 awards at the 2021 NJ Ad Club Jersey Awards Ceremony held on September 29.  Receiving this recognition for our work is extremely significant as some other nominees and entrants are large corporations who are able to work with much larger advertising and marketing budgets.

  • A New Jersey Mother’s Personal Account of Her Son’s Battle with Substance Use Disorder

    Posted 10/13/2021 by Angelo M. Valente

    Last week was Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day. Thousands of New Jersey residents took steps to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of opioids to their family and community.


    These efforts will continue as we observe National Medicine Abuse Month in October. This week I am sharing a piece that ran in USA Today by Tonia Ahern, a New Jersey mom. Tonia is a friend of PDFNJ and has participated in many opioid awareness activities over the years. She is an for advocate for families and individuals affected by substance use disorders. Through her story, Tonia is shining a light on the terrible disease of addiction and helping to reduce the stigma associated with it.

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