• We Must Send a Unified Message About the Dangers of Adolescent Marijuana Use

    Posted 6/22/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    Marijuana use among adolescents has increased in states in which adult recreational use of marijuana has become legal. A recent study looked at teens in California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine and found a connection between legalized adult use and a surge in marijuana use among teens.


    The legalization of recreational marijuana could affect how today’s youth perceive the substance. As we are now a few months into New Jersey’s legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, it is important to ensure that today’s youth and their families understand the dangers of marijuana use among adolescents.

  • PDFNJ’s Webinars Are a Valuable Resource

    Posted 6/15/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Learning Series webinars have been a tremendous success, providing continued learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering this virtual format has enabled many more participants to gain much needed education and resources about the dangers of opioids. The series has become a valuable resource for New Jersey resident with thousands participating to date. 

  • A Substance Use & Mental Health Crisis is Unfolding Across New Jersey & the Country

    Posted 6/8/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    A recent study has revealed that alcohol abuse skyrocketed during the pandemic and alcohol-related deaths increased by 25 percent from 2019 to 2020, jumping from 78,927 deaths to 99,017. Alcohol-related deaths had been rising in recent years but this large jump is a troubling sign of the effects of a mental health and substance use crisis that is unfolding as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Guest Blog: NADDI is a Valuable Resource as the Opioid Epidemic is Surging

    Posted 6/1/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    This week’s guest blogger, Patricia Richardson, is the National Corresponding Secretary of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI). NADDI is a national training organization working to educate professionals involved in the field of pharmaceutical drug diversion. Patricia is also a commissioned Law Enforcement Officer with the MEDWAY Drug Enforcement Agency in Wayne County, Ohio – one of the oldest drug task forces in the state of Ohio. 

  • Happy Memorial Day

    Posted 5/24/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    Memorial Day is this coming Monday. I want to take a moment and honor those who have served or are actively serving our country today. We celebrate this long weekend because of the commitment to liberty & democracy made possible by the sacrifices of our armed services.


    May their bravery forever be remembered.

  • When It Comes to Substance Use Prevention – Communication is Key

    Posted 5/18/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    I wanted to share a recent New York Times article, which discusses the deteriorating state of the mental health of today’s youth. I covered this topic in a blog post a few weeks ago. It is both sad and alarming that teens and adolescents are at a crisis point, which if not properly addressed, could lead to a substance use crisis as well.


    I wrote a Letter to the Editor for the Star Ledger that further expresses my sentiments.

  • Tune In to PDFNJ’s 2022 Prevention Concert

    Posted 5/11/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    Tomorrow, May 12, is the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) Prevention Concert for the Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey music competition. The competition is designed to challenge New Jersey high school students to create original music and lyrics with powerful peer-to-peer substance use prevention messages.

  • We Must Focus on Mental Health Among Today’s Youth

    Posted 5/4/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    On July 16, 988 will become the nationwide 3-digit dialing code for mental health crisis and suicide prevention. It will replace the 1-800 number currently used by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. When someone calls 988 in the United States, it will connect with the mental health crisis/suicide prevention system designed specifically for someone struggling with a mental health issue.   

  • Adolescent Use of Marijuana Can Have Long-Term Effects

    Posted 4/27/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    Last week, New Jersey began the sale of cannabis for recreational use, a decision that will affect how today’s youth perceive the substance. As our state embarks on this new path, I think it is important to have discussions with our children about the dangers marijuana use can pose to the developing brain.


    In 2018, approximately 192 million people worldwide between the ages of 15 and 64 used cannabis recreationally. Young adults ages 18 to 25 accounted for 35 percent of that total, indicating that a significant number of users are adolescents and young adults whose brains are still in development.

  • Safeguard Your Home for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

    Posted 4/20/2022 by Angelo M. Valente

    Drug overdoses and drug overdose-related deaths are up over last year, with 3,124 drug overdose deaths reported in New Jersey in 2021.  A majority of these deaths involved some form of an opioid.  As the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is on April 30th,  I wanted to remind you to take stock of your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of any unused or expired medication. 

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