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Danielsen-Supported Bill To Combat Opioid Addiction Released By Assembly Panel

A bill that would create a public awareness campaign about opioid addiction, co-sponsored by state Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17) has been approved by an Assembly committee.

A bill that would establish a public awareness campaign about opioid addiction has been cleared by a state Assembly committee.

The bill, known as the “Heroin and OPIOD Drug Public Education (HOPE) Intiative,” is co-sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17.) The bill would require the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services to establish and oversee a “HOPE” public awareness campaign.

The bill was approved by the Assembly appropriations committee.

“With the Hope Initiative Awareness Campaign, we can help residents help themselves and their loved ones suffering from addiction,” Danielsen said in a press release about the bill. “We can also dispel commonly accepted myths and stereotypes of drug addiction and lead them to treatment facilities enabling them to rebuild their lives.”

The bill will require the division to work in consultation with the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the Partnership for a Drug-free New Jersey, and, as appropriate, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, in developing, coordinating, implementing, and overseeing the HOPE Initiative, according to the release.

According to the release, the Hope Initiative provides for the coordinated and widespread public dissemination of individual case stories and other generalized information that is designed to include:

  • Identify the pathways than can lead to opioid abuse and heroin use, and the reasons why opioid abuse may evolve into heroin use;
  • Show the new face of heroin and opioid addiction, and rebut the commonly accepted myths and stereotypes about heroin users and opioid abusers;
  • Condemn and stigmatize the abuse and diversion of prescription opioid drugs, while recognizing the legitimate use of the same opioid drugs as medications;
  • Describe the effects and warning signs of heroin use and opioid abuse, so as to better enable members of the public to determine when help is needed.

The information to be provided through the HOPE Initiative would be disseminated using every available type of media.

The legislation was also sponsored by Assembly members Benjie Wimberly, Joseph Lagana, and Sheila Oliver.

 

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