New Jersey Families Touched by Opiate Abuse Gather to Make Changes to Legislation


For Immediate Release:

Hannah Scansaroli, Media Coordinator, 973-467-2100,

New Jersey Families Touched by Opiate Abuse Gather to Make Changes to Legislation

TEANECK, NJ --- Families who have been touched by opiate abuse came from across the state of New Jersey to gather on Friday, November 20, 2015. Over 150 people participated in a breakfast hosted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe.

The keynote speaker at the breakfast was Andrew Kolodny, M.D., co-founder of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) and Chief Medical Officer at Phoenix House. Dr. Kolodny discussed how opiate abuse can impact the developing brain, particularly in children.

Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ, said that, “If parents must give permission before their child can go on a field trip to the zoo, they sure should be asked for their signature when their child is prescribed an opiate.”

This week the organization Prevent Opiate Abuse urged the speedy adoption of the Parent Notification Bill (A4760) introduced by Assemblyman Joseph A. Lagana (D-38). This legislation provides parents with the critical information needed to make informed decisions about whether their teenager should be prescribed an opiate by requesting that doctors and other prescribers discuss the potential risks of dependency before writing a prescription. When appropriate, doctors should also discuss potential alternative treatments. If parents make a decision to go forward with a prescription for an opioid, this legislation provides the added benefit of raising their awareness to possible addiction.

Prevent Opiate Abuse leaders pointed to the fact that while addiction to opiate-based prescription painkillers and their illegal street cousin, heroin, has spread to all demographic and age groups, teenagers are particularly at risk.

“We must give parents the tools to protect their children from this epidemic. That is exactly what this legislation does and why it needs to speedily become law,” said Elaine Pozycki, Co-Chair of Prevent Opiate Abuse and Co-Chair of PDFNJ.


Best known for its statewide anti-drug advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication.  To date, more than $70 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception the Partnership has garnered 127 Advertising and Public Relations Awards from National, Regional & Statewide Media Organizations.