The opioid epidemic has ravaged South Jersey and we can no longer remain silenced by misplaced shame.  It is absolutely true that Atlantic County has the highest per-capita overdose death rate in the country. Not one of the over 3,000 counties in the United States has buried more than one out of every 1, 584 residents to overdose. Recovery Force is the credentialed organization by and for people affected by this epidemic and people recovering from it.  We are a big tent and exclude no one, as we embrace multiple pathways to recovery. We are a united group comprised of the diverse larger recovery community, including people from 12-step fellowships, others utilizing medically-assisted recovery, individuals subscribing to recovery yoga or perhaps a harm-reduction pathway. We are a volunteer workforce providing services free of charge to our community. Many of us are paying it forward. Others are involved in our movement so their loved-one was not lost in vain. We are joined by family members and friends of people in or seeking recovery. We also are home to the hundreds of South Jersey families that lost a loved one to this epidemic. No community has made progress in solving its problems without citizens impacted mobilizing their forces and recovering out loud.  Recovering Out Loud changes the culture of the community to one of hope, pride and acceptance. Start today by clicking the button above and  finding a way to take part in the International Overdose Awareness Day events planned for August 31,2019 

IN THE NEWS.....

Screening Job Applicants For Marijuana Use Is Now Against The Law In NYC

Most New York City employers can no longer require a marijuana test from job applicants as a condition of employment. The new law, which the City Council “overwhelmingly” passed in April with a 40-4 vote, will take effect in May 2020.“If we want to be a progressive city, we have to really put these things into action,” bill sponsor and NYC public advocate Jumaane D. Williams said at the time.NYC is the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to explicitly prohibit this practice.While Mayor Bill de Blasio had said that he would sign the legislation—calling it a “healthy step” and “part of how we change our culture to be less punitive and exclusionary”—he ultimately did not sign.Marijuana Moment reports that it is “unclear what changed” between then and now. Regardless, the law will take effect in one year.The bill’s text reads: “[E]xcept as otherwise provided by law, it shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, or agent thereof to require a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinols or marijuana in such prospective employee’s system as a condition of employment.”Certain occupations—“safety and security sensitive jobs”—are exempt from the rule including construction, law enforcement, child care, medical care, truck driving and aviation.Federal or state employees and government contractors are also exempt as they do not fall under the city’s jurisdiction. Employers may also test workers if they appear to be under the influence of marijuana at work.Williams, who authored the legislation, says the city will not wait for the state government to legalize marijuana for it to start reforming marijuana policies. “NYC must lead the way on this issue,” he stated.New York’s efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use have lost momentum ahead of the time remaining in New York’s legislative session.The New York Times notes that while it is still possible for the state to “legalize it” by late June, it’s unclear whether NY lawmakers have finally come to agree on the details of the marijuana legalization initiative.“It’s clear that we cannot wait until legalization on the state level before moving to reduce the impact that marijuana prohibition has had on individuals and communities,” said Williams. “Testing isn’t a deterrent to using marijuana, it’s an impediment to opportunity that dates back to the Reagan era—a war on drugs measure that’s now a war on workers. We need to be creating more access points for employment, not less—and if prospective employers aren’t testing for past alcohol usage, marijuana should be no different.”If legalization does not happen this year, the state is planning to expand its medical marijuana program, NYT reported.

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