To fix NJ’s opioid epidemic, we need to start discussing the real issues
Earlier this week I spoke to a group of doctors in Atlantic City. My presentation was a part of the New Jersey Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons annual conference.
Jessica Nutt and I were invited to attend the event by the groups Executive Director Tajma Kotoric and incoming President Dr. Otto Sabando They asked me to specifically address the seemingly out-of-control opioid epidemic in the Garden State. I spoke about the importance of balance in the conversation. On one hand, I'm not a doctor so I can't really speak to whether heroin addiction is a disease. On the other hand. I am a good listener and over the past four years since I changed careers and got into the media, I've heard countless stories from parents, addicts and those recovering all with a similar theme.
That theme is that much of the addiction crisis has to do with bad choices and a lack of coping skills. The bottom line is that it's up to individuals, families and medical professionals to step up and act. The solution to changing and saving lives is beyond awareness campaigns. We're all aware of how big the problem has become. The focus has to be on action. I shared a few personal stories and at the end based on the crowd reaction and conversations after my speech, it seems a good portion of the doctors agreed with my take.
Following my remarks Jessica caught up with former NFL wide receiver and Jersey guy, Vance Johnson. Johnson played 10 years with the Denver Broncos and was happy to let Jessica try on his Super Bowl ring.
Johnson had an interesting take on my speech, not only agreed with much of what I said as a former addict himself, but thought that many of the docs attending would also agree but they'd be hesitant to agree openly or even ask a question.
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