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Drug Abuse

NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Linda A. Johnson, Associated Press
TRENTON - Former Johnson & Johnson CEO James E. Burke, who steered the health-care giant through the Tylenol poisonings in the 1980s that resulted in the first tamper-resistant product packaging, has died. The company said Burke died late Friday at the age of 87, after a long, unspecified illness. Burke, who ran the New Brunswick, N.J., company for 13 of his 37 years there, also had a big impact in his second career, as chairman of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America for 16 years.
NEWS
September 30, 2012 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
The New Jersey Department of Children and Families this week rejected a request from a child-advocacy group for records on the state's handling of the case of Zahree Thomas, 2, whose mother killed him last month. Chevonne Thomas, 34, committed suicide shortly after decapitating her son. She called 911 at 12:11 a.m. Aug. 22 to report his death and, after initially blaming her boyfriend, admitted to a dispatcher that she had stabbed Zahree. The department had been monitoring the Camden woman, who had a history of mental illness and drug abuse.
NEWS
September 27, 2012 | By Mari A. Schaefer, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Time to clean out the cabinets of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The nation's Drug Enforcement Agency is sponsoring a "Drug Take-Back Day" on Saturday Sept. 29th. This is the fifth time authorities have sponsored such an event to combat a growing prescription drug abuse, DEA officials said. In April, 276 tons of medication was turned into the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. More than 774 tons of medication has been collected from all the events, DEA officials said.
NEWS
September 10, 2012 | By James Osborne, Inquirer Staff Writer
The question can be heard up and down the Camden block where Osvaldo Rivera allegedly stabbed a 6-year-old boy to death and slashed the boy's 12-year-old sister last Sunday: Was the man known as "Popeye," who played ball with neighborhood children and gave them haircuts on his porch not who he seemed or was the dreadful attack fueled by the drug concoction called "wet" that he allegedly told authorities he had smoked that night? In the Roosevelt Manor public housing complex where Rivera allegedly committed the crimes, where residents say drug abuse is commonplace, mothers last week clutched their children even tighter and kept an eye on the doors where they said known users live.
NEWS
September 9, 2012 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Alarmed by a surge in heroin deaths, Delaware County officials joined together for the first time Friday to attack a problem they see devastating families and communities. There were 33 heroin-related deaths in the county in the first six months of the year. In 2011, there were 62 deaths, and in 2010 there were 50, said Frederic Hellman, the county's medical examiner and a member of a task force newly appointed to address the issue. In contrast, there has been one heroin death in Chester County.
NEWS
September 7, 2012 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Statistics tracked by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office suggest that use of the designer drugs known as bath salts and synthetic marijuana has significantly declined since the state recently banned them. Reports of bath salts to New Jersey's poison hotline have declined by 66 percent and synthetic marijuana by 33 percent, according to the Attorney General's Office. Exposure to bath salts was first reported to the state's poison control center in January 2011, with incidents increasing through the following April, when the state cracked down on the drug.
NEWS
August 30, 2012
Some urgency must be added to the investigation of the horrifying death of a Camden child who was decapitated by his mother before she took her own life. There should be no delay in implementing whatever additional steps the New Jersey Department of Children and Families could take to help it recognize when a parent who seems to be competent to care for a child isn't. Just as likely, of course, the investigation may find that no agency could have saved 2-year-old Zahree from his mother, Chevonne Thomas, who had a history of mental illness and drug abuse.
NEWS
August 26, 2012 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Child protection workers were preparing to close their case on a Camden mother reunited with her son when, on Wednesday, the woman decapitated the boy and then committed suicide, according to a state news release issued Friday. The New Jersey Department of Children and Families provided more information about Chevonne Thomas, 34, including details about her Nov. 28, 2010, arrest on a child endangerment charge when she first lost custody of son Zahree, who was 2 when he died. The release noted at least one drug relapse that caused the department to take the boy from Thomas a second time.
NEWS
August 25, 2012 | By Barbara Boyer, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Child protection workers were preparing to close their case on a Camden mother reunited with her son when, on Wednesday, the woman decapitated the boy and then committed suicide, according to a state news release issued Friday. The New Jersey Department of Children and Families provided more information about Chevonne Thomas, 34, including details about her Nov. 28, 2010, arrest on a child endangerment charge when she first lost custody of son Zahree, who was 2 when he died. The release noted at least one drug relapse that caused the department to take the boy from Thomas a second time.
NEWS
August 25, 2012 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
An advocate for children said her organization would petition state records to review how child protection workers monitored a Camden mother who decapitated her son Wednesday before committing suicide. Nancy Parello, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New Jersey, said serious questions emerged Wednesday from the state's initial response after Chevonne Thomas, 34, killed her 2-year-old, Zahree, less than three months after regaining custody. "When was the last time a caseworker saw the family?"
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