NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, will host the third free lecture in its virtual family lecture series Wednesday, March 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.

The topic, “Adolescent Brain Development and Addiction,” will be presented by Tejal Mehta, MD, pediatrician, The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter's University Hospital.

The country’s opioid crisis has parents concerned for their children. In this lecture, Dr. Mehta will discuss the impact of drug use on teen brain development and the warning signs or red flags of drug abuse of which parents should be aware. She will also discuss drug abuse prevention and the clinical symptoms of overdose.

Participants will learn about the three waves of the opioid epidemic: the first characterized by an increased prescribing of opioids, the second marked by a rapid increase in deaths involving heroin and the third with a rise in overdose deaths due to synthetic opioids, particularly those involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl.

To register for “Adolescent Brain Development and Addiction,” please visit this site.

Organized by Saint Peter’s Opioid Task Force, this virtual lecture series is designed for parents and families. The presentations in this series will address common parental concerns about the numerous ways the pandemic has impacted teens, from issues like isolation to how they cope, socialize and develop. The series will also explore addiction which has escalated during the pandemic and resources for successful recovery.

The virtual lectures will be presented every other Wednesday through May 5. An additional event is scheduled for June 2. Each lecture will start at 6:30 p.m. The list of upcoming lecture topics is below:

March 10: Adolescent Brain Development and Addiction, presented by Dr. Tejal Mehta, Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital

Registration link:

March 24: Vaping and the Adolescent, presented by Nicki Francis and Mara Carlin, BS, CPS, Wellspring Center for Prevention

Registration link:

April 7: Recovery Coaches, presented by Bonnie Nolan, PhD, Woodbridge Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (WOORP)

Registration link:

April 21: Successful Recovery from Addiction, presented by Don Rogers, Community Outreach Director at The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper

Registration link:

If you have any questions about the virtual lectures, please contact Robert J. LaForgia, coordinator, Healthier Middlesex, at or 732-745-8600, ext. 5831. Please allow up to 48 hours for a response