The Council has announced the hearing schedule of its Task Force on Heroin and Other Opiate Use by New Jersey's Youth and Young Adults. The Task Force was established to tackle the pressing issue of heroin and other opiate use by New Jersey's youth and young adults which have increased dramatically over recent years.
Task Force Chairman Frank Greenagel of Rutgers University stated, "In the face of recently analyzed 2011 admissions data that continues to find an alarming increase in heroin and other opiate use admissions of New Jersey's youth and young adults, it is time for the Task Force to get down to business. I look forward to hearing from affected individuals; their family members, who at times have tragically lost their loved ones to this epidemic; and, experts as we seek to address this serious problem confronting our State.
The next Task Force hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 10th at Daytop-New Jersey in Mendham. For the address and directions to Daytop's Mendham location click here.
For more Task Force information and additional hearing dates click here.
Task Force Statehouse Hearing held May 29th
In a riveting Statehouse moment, one 21-year-old Rutgers student testified he took some oxycodone that was prescribed for his father and became addicted to it during his senior year in high school. "In the middle of active addiction you don't value your own life. My life meant nothing to me. I didn't care if I lived or died. It did not matter to me," said the student identified only as Ryan. Ryan, who testified he twice attempted to end his life, is now in recovery for three years.
The Task Force also heard testimony from Meg DuPont Parisi and Kass Foster, both of whom tragically lost their young sons, Patrick and Christian, to opiate overdoses.
"We need to start early and start hard to raise awareness," said Meg Parisi. Kass Foster added, "I feel like I'm on the front lines of a war, a battle that never ends, with our kids as the casualties."