Who We Are
The New Jersey Prevention Network (NJPN) is a public health agency working to create healthier communities by reducing the burden of substance abuse, addiction and other chronic disease.
NJPN brings professionals together through focused networks supporting a variety of training and prevention programs offered throughout New Jersey. Our networks foster collaboration and leverage resources to enhance environmental strategies and targeted statewide services in the fields of substance abuse prevention, public health, addiction education, and military support. Working together, our network professionals implement best service practices and evidenced-based programs across the state, helping build New Jersey’s capacity to create stronger, healthier communities, families and individuals.
Our History: NJPN was established in 1998 to build capacity, maximize resources and strengthen collaboration among substance abuse prevention professionals. The original statewide network was formed of independent, non-profit prevention agencies with offices in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. As part of a connected system of professional services for the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse and other related issues, this network established high quality standards and evidenced-based practices. The county-based prevention agencies networked through NJPN offered programs and services sharing the common goal to reduce the incidence and prevalence of alcoholism, addiction and related problems through primary prevention efforts. NJPN served as coordinating body to statewide prevention strategies. NJPN staff worked closely with Municipal Alliances, schools, DARE officers, family court, mental health agencies, local governments and many other constituent groups in each county. The network provided services to refer those needing and requesting help for their own or another individual’s problems related to use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to an appropriate established organization or center that most closely meets their needs. Each NJPN member agency also operated a resource center to provide information and resources to local professionals and residents in their county. This groundbreaking network was the foundation of many successful systems currently operating throughout New Jersey.
Why Prevention: All over the world, individuals, families and communities struggle with the devastating effects of addiction — and the problem is growing. By 2020, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) estimates that mental and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide. The World Economic Forum predicts the global economic impact of mental illness, including substance use disorders, will be $16 trillion over the next 20 years. Drug deaths already outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States. It makes economic and moral sense to focus on prevention.