PSEG hosted an Opioid Panel Discussion on Friday, June 16, which examined the correlation between opioid addiction and incarceration, along with education, prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. The panel cited NJRC’s efforts to provide treatment in the context of prisoner reentry and the importance of the pipeline from behind the wall to the community with sustained outpatient treatment.
The panel was moderated by Rick Thigpen, Vice President of State Government Affairs, PSEG, and panelists included Senator Joseph F. Vitale, Cathleen Bennett, Commissioner, Department of Health; Vikram Varma, MD, MBA, FACEP, Emergency Medicine Physician, Community Medical Center; Larry Mihlon, retired Chief of Police, West Long Branch; and Richard T. Smith, President, NAACP, New Jersey State Conference.
We thank PSEG for their tremendous support in raising awareness of this serious epidemic. Did you know that America makes up five percent of the world’s population, but it makes up 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population? Additionally, Americans consume approximately 80 percent of the global opioid supply. In 2014, Governor Chris Christie established the Facing Addiction Task Force, whose mission is to fight addiction through treatment and prevention, and also to do away with stigma associated with addiction. Our Chairman, Jim McGreevey, is a co-chair on the Task Force, along with Pastor Joe Carter, of the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. Please read the Task Force’s original report here: http://gcada.nj.gov/policy/