Tag: Drug Addiction

Schepisi: Adequate providers, services needed for mental health care, drug addiction

Source: NJTV News – Mental health and addiction agencies are banding together to stop the state from transitioning to a fee-for-service health care model. That’s the system that moves away from predetermined contract fees by drawing down federal dollars. Instead it requires doctors to charge for each service provided — like tests or scans. Some experts say that leaves big gaps for state reimbursements.

“The model works in theory, but in practice the system — the mental health system is going to lose tens of million of dollars in revenue that’s going to affect people with mental illness and their families,” said Lou Schwarcz, CEO of the Mental Health Association of Morris County.

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

At a legislative breakfast in Bergen County, community health care providers and families in need of mental health services hoped to convince lawmakers that state funding cuts to charity care and the fee-for-service change would hit mental health services hard…

Patients with mental health and substance use disorder now account for nearly half of the growth in hospital emergency room visits. According to a new report from the NJ Hospital AssociationED visits increased by 117,000 patients from 2014 to 2015. Nearly 54,000 or almost 46 percent were cases of mental health or substance use disorder.

“We have such a significant issue with mental health services, drug addiction. They’re tied in together and so its something where by we need to assure we have the adequate providers and services available for our constituents,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi…

Event organizers say they’ve collected more than a thousand signatures on a petition from folks who will be personally affected hoping to influence the governor and legislature to keep contract dollars intact. Saying that if the financial ramifications don’t appeal to them, perhaps the human expense will.

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Angelini Commends Governor Christie for Working to Combat Substance Abuse

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Applauds Governor for Addressing Stigma Associated with Addiction, Increasing Awareness of Drug-Related Issues

Mary Pat Angelini

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini commended New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for holding a drug recovery conference focused on reducing the stigma associated with addiction and treatment and to raise broader awareness of drug-related issues.

The conference, co-hosted by Pastor Joe A. Carter, was held on Tuesday, Sept. 30th at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ and brought together advocacy groups, individuals who have battled addiction, and organizations involved in treatment work.

“This call to action by Governor Christie to put an end to the stigma associated with drug addiction is another giant step forward in New Jersey’s battle against an insidious drug abuse epidemic that is affecting so many people in our area,” said Angelini. “I applaud Governor Christie for making it a top priority of his to further educate the public about substance abuse and for focusing on long-term solutions such as recovery and treatment options.”

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Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini / 732-974-1719
Assembly Republican Press Office / 609-847-3400


The Assembly Health committee approved today a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini aimed at stopping the growing epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.

“Abuse of prescription painkillers is a real crisis,” Angelini, R-Monmouth, said. “Overdoses from prescription painkiller opioids have tripled over the past decade and now kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined.”

Angelini was referring to a report published this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studying overdoses of prescription opioid pain relievers. According to the study, 36,450 people died in the United States because of overdose. Of those, 20,044 were related to prescription drugs and 73.8 percent of those were attributed to opioid pain relievers, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and fentanyl.

Angelini’s bill, A-4041, which had bipartisan support from the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee today, would encourage drug manufactures to produce opioids that could not be used inappropriately and make it more difficult for pharmacists to substitute a drug that could be crushed or manipulated by abusers.

“Drug manufactures have the capacity to deter abuse of prescription opioids, which can be legitimately used to treat chronic pain,” Angelini said. “With so many young people abusing prescription drugs, it’s imperative that sure prescription pain killers are used only for their intended purpose.”

Angelini, who is executive director of a nonprofit dedicated to keeping youth healthy, safe and drug free, has led legislative efforts like this to keep New Jersey safe from drug abuse.

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Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini / 732-974-1719
Assembly Republican Press Office / 609-847-3400

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, R-Monmouth, a member of the Health and Senior Services Committee, issued the following statement in opposition to the committee approving legislation that would allow pharmacies to sell syringes without a prescription.

“We are sending the wrong message by making it easier to continue dangerous and addictive behavior. Selling syringes without prescriptions is basically giving up hope that we will ever be able to defeat the grip that drugs have on our society.

“From my experiences working to keep youth away from substance abuse, I know how difficult it is stop drug abuse. The best way to help intravenous drug users recover is through abstinence and long-term treatment.”

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