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.....

Texas Raises Legal Smoking Age To 21

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill that prohibits the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21.Supporters of the ban, which goes into effect September 1, said that it could aid in reducing the number of young adults who become regular smokers, which according to the Surgeon General numbers around 2,400 per day.  With passage of the bill, Texas joins a growing list of cities and states across the country that have increased the legal tobacco age.Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 21 into law on Friday (June 7). The scope of the ban includes cigarettes and other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has attributed with a 38% rise in tobacco use among high school students between 2017 and 2018. Juul, which the Huffington Post described as the most commonly used brand of e-cigarette, has voiced support for "Tobacco 21" legislation, as such bills are often called.As HuffPost also noted, the ban does not extend to members of the military under the age of 21 years.A report from the Surgeon General stated that more than 600,000 middle school students and three million high school students currently smoke cigarettes. Those numbers have slowed in their decline over the last decade, while rates of decline for smokeless tobacco, such as e-cigarettes, have "stalled completely," according to the report.The report also stated that more than 1,200 individuals in the United States die due to smoking-related causes each day, and for each of those deaths, at least two "youth or young adults" become regular smokers each day. Approximately 90% of those "replacement smokers" use their first cigarette by the age of 18.According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, similar "Tobacco 21" bans have been passed in 14 states including California, Hawaii (the first to pass such a ban in 2016), Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Some 470 cities and counties, including New York City, Chicago and Boston, have also passed bans, though the strength of these ordinances varies by location.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to raise the tobacco age to 21 on the federal level.Beverly Hills, California, recently became what is believed to be the first city to ban tobacco sales to anyone, save for hotel guests, cigar lounges and any retailer that can demonstrate undue financial distress due to the ban.

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