Gottheimer seeks to conduct study on opioid abuse in students

Posted: Updated:

Rep. Josh Gottheimer is asking the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services to compile data on exactly how many New Jersey students are dying of opioid abuse and how their addictions started.

Gottheimer says that the addictions often start in student athletes who get hurt while participating in their sport. The congressman says that players can often get addicted to painkillers, which is why he is pushing so hard to change how opioid use is handled and treated in America.

“Giving that prescription out is of last resort because we see what happens in the end,” he says.

Gottheimer held an event at Fairleigh Dickinson University Friday to discuss the use of opioids.

Mother Gail Cole says that opioids caused her family much grief. Her son Brendan became addicted after originally being prescribed the medication following surgery. He later died due to his addiction.

“You know it’s not Brendan the addicted, it’s not Joe or Sally the addict. That’s not who they were,” she says. “It’s a disease. Addiction is a disease.”

Cole says that it is possible to become dependent on the drugs in a little as five days.

Dr. Michael Kelly says he is limiting how he prescribes opioids in his operating room.

“We stopped with the IV opioids in many of our surgeries, especially painful orthopedic surgeries,” he says. “We’ve limited access to opioid management in pain post-operatively.”

Gottheimer is proposing a three-step process: first to collect data on opioid use and then to share it and learn from it.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • 70th Emmy Awards

    70th Emmy Awards

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

  • Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Wednesday, September 5 2018 2:50 PM EDT2018-09-05 18:50:41 GMT

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

  • Guide: Where to find food trucks in New Jersey

    Guide: Where to find food trucks in New Jersey

    Food Truck Friday: Callahan'sFood Truck Friday: Callahan's

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them in New Jersey.

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them in New Jersey.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."