• Marijuana Use Increases Risk for Atrial Fibrillation

    Posted 1/4/2023 by Angelo M. Valente

    A new study has revealed that several illicit drugs can increase your risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib).  These include methamphetamine, cocaine and opioids, but another drug found to increase AFib is cannabis.  Researchers found that cannabis users had a 35 percent higher risk of developing AFib, compared to people with no record of using cannabis. 

  • Substance Use Disorder Must Be Treated as a Medical Problem

    Posted 12/14/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    This week’s guest blogger is Tonia Ahern, Advocacy Coordinator at the National Center for Advocacy and Recovery for Behavioral Health (NCAAR) and Family Advocate/Government Affairs at the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.


    She shares her personal story of her son, Rory, who sadly lost his life to substance use disorder in 2021, as part of an important documentary, “Untreated & Unheard: The Addiction Crisis in America”, which documents individuals and families impacted by substance use disorder and steps we can take to help make changes.

  • PDFNJ Cited as One of the Most Trusted Sources for Opioid Education

    Posted 12/7/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    A recent statewide survey conducted by Fairleigh Dickenson University Poll, cited the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) as one of the most trusted resources for information about opioid addiction and education, second only to their physician.

  • How Opioids Are Affecting the Workplace

    Posted 11/30/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    A recent article explained the profound effect the opioid epidemic is having on the American workforce.  Employers need to recognize this impact and develop strategies to address it.


    The issue itself is two-fold, as not only are Individuals suffering from opioid use disorder putting their own lives at risk and affecting the safety of other co-workers, but they have higher rates of absenteeism and reduced productivity.

  • National Great American Smoke Out Day

    Posted 11/16/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    Tomorrow, November 17, is the Great American Smoke Out. Each year the American Cancer Society challenges smokers to give up cigarettes, vaping or e-cigarettes. The day is meant to encourage people to quit smoking tobacco and start the journey toward a healthy lifestyle.


    Sadly, e-cigarette use among teens is on the rise.  According to the CDC, in 2021, about one out of every 35 middle school students, and about one of every nine high school students reported that they had used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days.

  • PDFNJ Wants to Hear Your Song! Your Voice!

    Posted 11/2/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey music and songwriting competition is back from its 19th year!  Teenagers who are into making music, won’t want to miss this opportunity to have their songs heard by tens of thousands of people.


    Each year, PDFNJ’s Your Song! Your Voice! competition challenges high school students from across the state to create original music with substance use prevention messages.  It is a great opportunity for today’s youth to not only get exposure for their music but also become peer leaders by creating positive messages about substance use prevention that can have a positive impact on people’s lives.

  • Communication is Key to Substance Use Prevention

    Posted 10/26/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning about a social media challenge encouraging individuals to cook chicken using Nyquil.  This warning serves as another example of the need for continued efforts to raise awareness of the dangers associated with misusing and abusing medications.


    I encourage you to share this information with your community.  Additionally, in recognition of National Red Ribbon Week this week, please consider taking advantage of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) 15-Minute Child Break Program

  • October is National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month

    Posted 10/19/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    President Biden issued a proclamation declaring October as National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month.  The need for substance use prevention among today’s youth has never been greater as studies show the earlier in life a young person starts using alcohol or other drugs, the greater their lifetime risk of misuse or addiction.


    The Proclamation calls upon communities to take action to promote the health and safety of children through the adoption of prevention strategies. Communication is one of the greatest prevention tools in helping children lead healthy lives free of substance is use or misuse.

  • Let’s Continue the Success of Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day All Month

    Posted 10/12/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    I wanted to take a moment to thank all of the New Jersey residents, businesses and community leaders that have and continue to be a part of the 7th annual Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day.


    From Atlantic County to Somerset County and from Essex County to Hunterdon County – residents, government leaders, addiction professionals, and law enforcement showed up in large numbers to raise awareness and shine a light on the opioid addiction crisis that continues to plague their communities and out state.

  • Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day is TOMORROW!

    Posted 10/5/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    Tomorrow is the 7th Annual Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day! I urge all of you to participate and raise awareness and understanding about the link between prescribed opioids and heroin and fentanyl overdoses and deaths in our state and to reduce stigma and encourage support of those in recovery.

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