New Jersey Hospital Cutting Down on Opioids in Emergency Room

St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey has been using opioid alternative protocols in its emergency room since January. The goal of the Alternatives to Opiates (ALTO) program is to treat patients without opioids before considering using them. In the program’s first 2 months, 75% of the 300 patients that have gone through the program DID NOT need opioids, said Mark Rosenberg, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at St. Joseph’s. St. Joseph’s is the busiest E.R. in the state, treating nearly 160,000 patients in 2015.
Emergency rooms find themselves at the front lines of the addiction epidemic – dealing with people in genuine pain, individuals with addiction to may try to falsify symptoms to obtain drugs, and overdose patients. “Opioids may have their place in pain management,” says Rosenberg, “bad traffic accidents, surgical pain, and terminal cancer may all require opioid painkillers.”

The program comes as public health and law enforcement officials around the country continue efforts to combat the deadly opioid crisis. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released the first national guidelines for prescribing opioids in March, 2016. The CDC urged doctors to try first non-opioid painkillers, physical therapy, and other methods to treat chronic pain.

Read the full article here.

Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris is eager to be involved in physician awareness of the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids. Please check back on our website to find out how we are planning to get involved, and how members of the community can help!


April Newsletter


Talk early, talk often: Parents can make a difference in teen alcohol use


  • Alcohol is the primary factor in the four leading causes of  death for young people
  • Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States
  • Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are 4x more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin after age 21
  • The typical teen will see 100,000 beer commercials before turning 18


  • A supportive family environment is associated with lower rates of alcohol use for adolescents
  • Consistent and sustained parental attitudes can influence a child’s decision about whether or not to use alcohol and drugs
  • Kids who have conversations with their parents and learn about the dangers of alcohol and drugs are 50% less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don’t

January 2016 Newsletter

Click the link below to view our monthly newsletter and stay up-to-date on relevant substance abuse information.

January Newsletter

Featured in this month’s newsletter…

  • Narcan: It Saves
    Police throughout Morris County saved 42 people from fatal opiate overdoses in 2015  by using Narcan, according to Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.
  • Prescription and Over-The-Counter Drugs: Just as dangerous!
    Recent research shows that while parents are aware of warnings against illicit “street” drugs, both prescription medicine and over-the-counter cough medicines are often overlooked as a potential threat.