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EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The New York City Health Department just released new guidelines on prescribing Benzodiazepines that you should know about. It is not new news that prescription drug abuse is a rising epidemic in our communities. But let’s talk about where it all starts…the first prescription.

Benzodiazepines (often called Benzos) are one of the more frequent drugs prescribed for issues such as insomnia and anxiety. Such commonly known Benzos are Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan. You may have heard of them before, but did you know that if used in combination with opioids (Rx painkillers), alcohol, or another central nervous system depressants, it could be a fatal? Yup it’s true! In 2014, there were 301 benzodiazepine-involved overdose deaths in NYC. Out of those deaths, 42% also involved alcohol, 53% of Opioid overdose deaths involved Benzodiazepines, and 41% of Heroin-involved overdose deaths also came up positive for Benzos.

Benzodiazepines should never be the first line of defense. These drugs should be used very carefully and only for a maximum of 2-4 weeks as a quick symptom relief or short-term treatment of severe anxiety or insomnia. It is just a Band-Aid until the true healing of other treatments take full effect. The long-term use of these drugs is the main issue that is leading to addiction, abuse and overdose.

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So what are the alternative treatments for anxiety and insomnia? There are things such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Good Sleeping Routine
  • Yoga and Exercise
  • Melatonin
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-Norephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

If you are someone that is currently on Benzos for longer than the above recommended timeframe, please contact your prescriber and talk to him/her about alternative treatments and how to slowly taper off your prescription under medical watch. Know the risks, know the facts, and know the best route to the healthiest version of you.

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Mayors Push for Law Permitting Driver's License for Immigrants

July 20, 2018

PERTH AMBOY, NJ - Five mayors from northern and central New Jersey today called for passage of a state law permitting immigrants to get driver's licenses even if they are undocumented, saying it boosts public safety as well as the economy.

"This is important for every resident for a better life and a better life for the state of New Jersey," said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda ...

Franklin Township: Danielsen Sponsors New Medical Marijuana Bill

July 20, 2018

SOMERSET, NJ - Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D), who represents the 17th District in New Jersey State Assembly, recently unveiled his sponsorship of Assembly No. 10, a bill revising the requirements to authorize and access medical marijuana.

This announcement comes in response to Governor Phil Murphy’s plans to open six more dispensaries claimed to help better serve New Jersey’s ...

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Pinkin Vows to Fight for Clean Water at Jersey Water Works Event

July 20, 2018

HAMILTON, NJ - Speaking to a crowd of about 110 people at Jersey Water Works’ annual membership meeting on Thursday, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex), who chairs the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, spoke about New Jersey’s mounting obligation to update the state’s water infrastructure and to provide all New Jersey residents with clean drinking ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

July 14, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

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People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little (Dog Ear Publishing, 2015)


Rich Little is a national treasure; a living encyclopedia of movie stars, comedians, and former presidents all wrapped into one dynamic package. Recently, my husband and I had the good fortune to see Little perform at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, where he has been doing his uncanny ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)


If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...