Editorials-Archived

2012

 

Opiates Casually Dispensed

TRENTON ..(November 9, 2012) NCADD-NJ Public Information Manager speaks out about his personal experience around being prescribed opiates with no question or concern by medical professionals for the potential dangers that could arise.

Christie Drug Court Opinion
January 20, 2012...Trenton, NJ- Governor Chris Christie is known for flexing his political muscle. In his recent State of the State, the Republican governor put his bully pulpit behind a cause one might expect to see championed by bleeding hearts.

 

2011

Missed opportunity to save lives
July 11, 2011...Lawrence, NJ- Twelve young adults from Hamilton Township were killed over the last two years by a deadly affliction.  What disease did these individuals fall prey to?  Was it HIV?  Leukemia?  Was it some rare form of cancer?  Would it surprise you to know that it was none of the above, that in fact these individuals all died directly or indirectly from the disease of addiction?

Alternatives to prison reclaim lives lost to drugs
March 24, 2011...Trenton, NJ- Gov. Chris Christie has signaled that he may use some of his considerable leverage on an issue that has long bedeviled politicians, devastated budgets and undone countless lives: the nexus of crime and drug addiction. In a recent interview, the governor cited both the human and economic benefits of providing treatment for people whose drug use was at the root of their criminal actions. "Anything that we can do to reclaim lives that can be lost to drug abuse and prison," the governor has said, "would be a great thing to do on a humanitarian level. Secondly, it's certainly an economic factor. If we can turn these people from being economic drains into productive citizens, it's great for the economy."

Proposed detox in Lawrence Township
Jan, 11, 2011...Lawrence, NJ- It would be nice to believe we live in relatively enlightened times. But to listen to the views expressed at recent Lawrence Zoning Board meetings in opposition to a proposed addiction treatment facility, it seems clear we do not. The zoning board session was more a sounding board for misguided and biased attitudes directed at any who find themselves in need of treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol. People who would be in residence at the facility, more than a few witnesses said, would surely break out and prey on their neighbors.

2010

Independence Day for Recovery Community.
Aug. 25, 2010 … Trenton - Philadelphia teems with symbols of our country’s independence. This September 25, the city will teem with representatives of another sort of freedom, people emancipated from the disease of addiction. Thousands in recovery along with their families and friends will gather at Penn’s Landing that day to join in the national celebration of lives that have broken the hold alcohol or drugs once had on them.

The recent horrible events at the University of Virginia, which happened just weeks before the school’s graduation, are both too disturbing to imagine and all too expected.  The violent death of a Yeardley Love, a lacrosse player whose her former boyfriend, a member of the men’s lacrosse team, confessed to her murder, transmogrified what had seemed two charmed lives into a sudden, brutal undoing of all their promise.

  NJ roadblocks to parity seem in endless suppply
Feb. 3, 2010 - The one in three New Jersey families affected by addiction, many of whom find treatment difficult if not impossible to access, must by now feel like Sisyphus, the mythical figure who struggles to push a stone uphill only to have it roll back to the bottom each time he nears the top. After a long and trying effort, addiction advocates had reason to take heart when, in October 2008, the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act became law.

 

2009

Before rejoicing at recovery, treatment must be available
This September marks the 20th National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. That spans a generation of celebrations of our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and other loved ones being returned to us from the torments of addiction. Over the course of the past two decades, tens of thousands of New Jersey families have been made whole again through recovery.

Time to accept drug war as failed policy
It hardly comes as a revelation that the drug war, with its imprisonment of countless thousands of non-violent offenders, has been a fiasco. Nearly everyone versed with this issue, from the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, on down, has pronounced the drug war an utterly misguided and wrong-headed policy, one that has done little but waste both lives and dollars.

NCADD-NJ Resolves to Close State's Treatment Gap
New Jersey is confronted with a disease that affects hundreds of thousands of its citizens. Yet despite a toll that one associates with an epidemic and the fact that it devastates entire families when it strikes, the resources allocated to treating this disease are severely lacking. No, it is not an influenza, swine or otherwise. It is addiction to alcohol and drugs.

 

2008

Youth drinking starts well before college
The Amethyst Initiative’s proposed debate on lowering the drinking age has spurred a great deal of interest in campus alcohol use nationwide. In New Jersey, Senate President Richard Codey responded by calling for a review of all New Jersey college drinking policies and, following that, a Senate Education Committee hearing on the issue. In putting the attention almost entirely on the excessive drinking done by undergraduates, officials risk failing to confront the problem where it originates.

Fast Track Keg Registration
Thanks should go to state Commission on Higher Education Executive Director Jane Oates for issuing a call, at a recent Senate Education Committee (SEC) hearing on college drinking, to fast track a state-wide keg registration measure. The keg registration bill (S-1349/A-781), which is sponsored by SEC Chairwoman Shirley Turner, has languished in Trenton for years.

College drinking has early roots
Senate President Richard Codey and Senator Shirley Turner recently weighed in on the controversy over the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) stirred by the Amethyst Initiative and the group of college presidents who suggested the time had come for a debate this issue.

Appalling actions in Lodi
“I was appalled,” Lodi Mayor Karen Viscana said on hearing the news. Her reaction suggested she had learned of some recent calamity. Perhaps Mayor Viscana was reacting to the Myanmar government’s continued refusal to admit aid workers to the country to assist cyclone victims? But no, that was not it. She was not responding to a disaster on that scale or, for that matter, on any scale. What the mayor found so repellent was that the town’s zoning officer, Joel Lavin, had approved an application for a methadone clinic within the town.

Enact statewide keg registration
January 16, 2008 - Gov. Jon Corzine’s Teen Driving Study Commission recently held a hearing to gather testimony on how to reduce the number of accidents involving young drivers. An aspect of this issue that, despite its long history, still needs greater attention is the combination of youth drinking and driving. NCADD-NJ provided the commission with data on keg registration demonstrating that the policy is an effective means of both reducing youth alcohol use and the car wrecks that result.

 

2007

Recovery for addiction recovery
September 13, 2007 - September is designated National Addiction Recovery Month, which focuses on what is sometimes called ‘the other side of addiction.’ That other side is not well understood by many of the public, despite the fact that alcohol and drug problems affect nearly one in three families in New Jersey, according to a survey commissioned by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey.

Parity a remedy to health care costs
June 27, 2007 - A recent guest opinion in the Bergen Record, “Don’t add to businesses’ already high health costs,” stated that the reason mental health and addiction parity legislation is so controversial is because no one is addressing the vital issue of cost. Whatever one thinks of New Jersey’s parity legislation, S-807/A-2512, it defies logic and shuns all evidence to suggest it ignores cost.

Parity fosters economic health
May 22, 2007 - A recent Home News Tribune editorial supported the measure before the New Jersey Legislature to require insurance coverage for mental illness and addiction equal to what is provided for other medical conditions. The reason for issue’s steady advance through the state Legislature is not a simply a matter of fairness.

Keg registration will choke a source of alcohol for youth
March 8, 2007 - When police broke up a recent keg party at a house in East Brunswick, their arrival was obviously unwelcome by the teenagers in attendance. What is troubling about the high school students’ reaction to the police is the youth seemed to feel they had had their rights violated. Their right, that is, to be intoxicated.

 

2006

Celebrity cases continue to give rise to skepticsim on addiction
October 24, 2006 - There has lately been a handful of public figures – actors and politicians – proclaiming themselves alcoholics. These outpourings come, for the most part, on the heals of some humiliation that in itself is all but unpardonable.

NCADD-NJ presses for tax increase, treatment dedication
May 25, 2006 - NCADD – New Jersey fully supports Parent to Parent’s Just A Nickel a Gallon campaign to dedicate $10 million from Governor Corzine’s expected $15 million increase in alcohol tax revenue to the Alcohol Education Rehabilitation and Enforcement Fund (AEREF). The AEREF disburses $11 million annually to counties for addiction prevention and treatment and drunken driving enforcement efforts. This allocation has not changed since 1992.

Parity legislation needs support of Corzine
Jan. 19, 2006 - Incoming Gov. Jon Corzine immediately set a tone of reform in the state in the weeks before he took the oath of office. An issue greatly in need of his attention that has nothing to do with pay to play but that is critical to the state’s well-being would require health insurers to cover addiction and mental illnesses as they do other medical condition.

 

2005

Time for a Youth Alcohol Use Task Force
August 8, 2005 - In creating a Task Force on Steroid Use, Acting Gov. Richard Codey declared an emergent public health crisis and that, in response, New Jersey would not bury its head in the sand.

NCADD-NJ proposes 5-cent alcohol tax increase
May 20, 2005 - NCADD – New Jersey is proposing an increase in the alcohol excise tax by five cents per gallon and having the new revenue dedicated to expanding the state’s addiction treatment capacity.

Budget talks must recognize consensus on treatment needs
Feb. 22, 2005 - As Acting Gov. Richard Codey readies his Budget Address and the state Legislature begins its review of his budget proposal, New Jersey’s decision-makers should keep in mind that a single point bridged the polarizing divide between supporters and detractors of needle exchange: New Jersey’s need for more addiction treatment.

 

2004

Blase' attitude towards youth drinking persists
Nov. 29, 2004 - It is somewhat difficult to understand the nonchalance toward undergraduate drinking expressed in a recent letter to the editor by Hopewell resident Eric Houghton. Mr. Houghton commented sarcastically on the Trenton Times bothering to do a story on the arrest of college football players attempting to buy beer, which in his view was such a commonplace as to be a non-story. His viewpoint comes after a spate of well-publicized campus drinking deaths this fall has brought renewed attention to the issue.

Needle exchange bill must contain treatment, education components
Sept. 8, 2004 - The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – New Jersey (NCADD-NJ) has followed with great interest the recent push by Gov. James McGreevey and some members of the Legislature for a syringe access and/or exchange in the state. NCADD-NJ’s position on this important public health issue is predicated on the belief that, in addition to HIV/AIDS, there is another progressive, chronic, and potentially fatal disease affecting the intravenous drug user that needs intervention – the disease of addiction.

Federal initiative emphasizes recovery is possible
August 27, 2004 - The announcement that New Jersey has been awarded one of 15 federal Access to Recovery grants to expand addiction treatment over the next three years would be welcome at any time. Coming as it did with the approach of September’s Recovery Month celebration, the news serves to affirm that an investment in treatment is, ultimately, an investment in restoring lives.

Enforcement an important part of fight against youth alcohol use
July 26, 2004 - Two state officials, Alcohol Beverage Control Director Jerry Fischer and Attorney General Peter Harvey, have unveiled a series of measures aimed at keeping youth alcohol use from turning some families’ fond memories of summer into recollections certain to haunt them each time the season approaches.

Several local and state officials have expressed ill-considered views on recovery housing in Trenton
May 4, 2004 - The ill-considered and misinformed attitudes voiced by some local and state officials amid the debate over the proposed opening of a recovery house in Trenton’s South Ward are deeply troubling. One elected official, for instance, was quoted equating a neighborhood with addiction recovery housing with a “dumping ground.”

Awareness lacking in Alcohol Awareness Month
April 1, 2004 - With April comes another Alcohol Awareness Month focusing on youth alcohol use. In view of the number of recent alcohol-related incidents involving high school students and younger here in New Jersey, one has to wonder about there being much awareness at all when it comes to drinking and youth.

Alcohol tax again overlooked in Governor's budget message
February 24, 2004 - Each budget cycle, New Jerseyans seem to be able to count on seeing Gov. James McGreevey return to the same funding refuge to pull the state from its fiscal difficulties: a cigarette tax increase. While the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey certainly has no objections to these tobacco tax increases, we are at a loss as to why the governor is so averse to a tax hike on alcohol, a levy that has remained flat since 1992.

Progress with teen drug use but not underage drinking
January 22, 2004 - In Tuesday night’s State of the Union, President Bush rightly pointed with pride to the 2003 Monitoring the Future findings that drug use among students in grades eight, ten and twelve had declined by 11 percent, exceeding the goal he set two years ago of a 10 percent reduction. That progress is certainly something to applaud. The good news, however, is tempered in that Monitoring the Future showed no progress over the past 12 months in underage use of alcohol, which overwhelmingly remains the drug of choice of our youth.

 

2003

NCADD-NJ is dismayed by editorial that underage drinking is not a major public health problem
November 20, 2003 - The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey is dismayed by the November 14th Packet editorial suggesting that underage drinking is not a major public health problem and an issue that should be of relatively little concern, given the crises this country faces.

The West Windsor Township Council and Underage Drinking Ordinance
Oct. 21, 2003 - The West Windsor Township Council has just introduced a measure to address underage drinking that we at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey strongly urge communities throughout the state to adopt.

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
This September Americans across the country again celebrate Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. This year, more than most, brings a sense of anticipation as our federal government crafts a budget which may include additional federal funding to help more Americans receive alcohol and drug addiction treatment.

Needle Exchanges in the State
Aug. 7, 2003 - The recent Atlantic City Press editorial urging the implementation of needle exchanges in the state touches on some aspects of the issue but, in the view of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey, omits a vital part of the debate.

Keg Registration
Aug. 6, 2003 - New York State has just enacted a beer keg registration law, making it the 22nd state to do so. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey, in its recently released policy paper on underage drinking, strongly urges New Jersey follow suit as the 23rd state to require that kegs be registered, thereby ensuring accountability of adult purchasers of the barrels of beer that play such a large role in youth drinking. (The white paper can be accessed at www.ncaddnj.org.)

Give Children A Chance ...
March 31, 2003 - Spring is the season of expectation, embodied as much as anything by the approaching high school graduations and proms. But the season has also become a time of foreboding, bringing a sense that some of the futures we see just awakening in our schools will in a bout of drinking be gone. The theme of this April’s Alcohol Awareness Month, “Give Children a Chance – End Underage Drinking,” confronts the fact of alcohol’s influence over so many young lives – it remains the drug of choice among adolescents – and challenges us to put a stop to it.

 

2002

NCADD-NJ's View on Monitoring the Future Findings
Dec. 20, 2002 - The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey is cautiously optimistic about the recent Monitoring the Future survey indicating that adolescents have begun to understand the dangers that accompany alcohol and drug use. The results are encouraging, but should by not means be taken to mean this problem has been conquered; there is a long way to go before we can make that claim.

Struggles of New Jersey's county governments face in meeting the addiction treatments needs
Sept. 27, 2002 -- Mercer County government’s current debate over an ordinance to form a panel to review the lack of addiction treatment mirrors the struggle that all of New Jersey’s county governments face in meeting the addiction treatment needs of its residents.

NCADD-NJ Releases Eagleton Institute Addiction Issues Survey as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction
August 29, 2002 -- As we enter the September observance of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month and its call to “Join the Voices of Recovery,” the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence-New Jersey (NCADD-NJ) has released a survey of statewide views on addiction issues.

NCADD-NJ supports needle exchange proposal
May 31, 2002 -- The recent Times editorial on needle exchanges was thorough and thoughtful, for the most part.

Federal task force reveals 1,400 alcohol related deaths on campuses
April 15, 2002 -- The federal Task Force on College Drinking recently reported that 1,400 college students are killed every year in alcohol-related incidents and an estimated 500,000 students are injured because of drinking alcohol.

New Jersey addresses drug perils faced by disabled
March 25, 2002 -- I read with interest Mona Hughes’ recent column on the drug dangers that people with disabilities face. New Jersey is one of the few states in the country to have responded to this danger when it enacted and established an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Disabled, in 1996.

 

2001

Proposed bill will prevent collection of data on alcohol and drug use by NJ students
December 26, 2001 -- The University of Michigan just released its annual Monitoring the Future survey that is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults.

Recent cuts in addiction treatment services are part of a disturbing trend in New Jersey
December 6, 2001 -- The reported closings of Southern Ocean County Hospital and CPC Behavioral Healthcare addiction treatment services in Ocean County continues a disturbing statewide trend recently found by the New Jersey Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Advisory Task Force.

Parity legislation needed for addictive illnesses
July 10, 2001 -- Addictive illnesses are not treated in the same manner as all other illnesses, particularly with regard to health insurance.

Drug courts reduce drug use and recidivism
June 14, 2001 -- New Jersey's State Senate is considering legislation that would expand the use of drug courts in the state.

Proposed legislation undermines alcoholism and drug dependence prevention efforts
May 23, 2001 -- The New Jersey General Assembly is again poised to consider legislation that seriously threatens to undermine the state's alcoholism and drug dependence prevention efforts.

NCADD-NJ backs Supreme Court decision affirming right to confidential medical care
April 3, 2001 -- NCADD-NJ applauds the US Supreme Court for affirming the right to confidential medical care for all Americans.

 

2000

Clinton's signing of .08 BAC legislation will renew drunken driving debate in Jersey
September 5, 2000 -- President Clinton's signing into law a national .08 blood-alcohol drunken driving standard will certainly renew New Jersey's attention to whether this measure is an effective means to combating this problem.

 

 




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