The Crippling Problem of Drug Abuse: The Leading Cause of Accidental Death

In an Executive Order issued 29 March, the President established a commission on combating drug addiction and the opioid crisis; and in the ceremony he described the nature is of this medical emergency:


“Drug abuse has become a crippling problem throughout the United States. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and opioid-overdose deaths had nearly quadrupled since 1999. This is a terrible epidemic and I think it’s probably almost ‘un-talked about’ compared to the severity that we are witnessing.”


The President also noted that he would be counting on Gov. Christie to lead the assault, reminding his audience in the room and being televised by the press that probably best moment of Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign came during a town hall meeting in Belmont, New Hampshire, when he shared the ways in which he had himself experienced the effects of addiction, relating the story of his friend from Law School who struggled with an addiction to painkillers and sadly had eventually overdosed in 2014:


“And when I sat there as the governor of New Jersey at his funeral and looked across the pew at his three children sobbing because their dad is gone — there but for the grace of God go I.”


He also described his Mother’s experience with the addicting effects of nicotine; and both stories relating to Christie’s personal knowledge of addiction went viral.


Ironically, the stigma that is associated with addiction can be a great barrier to an individual’s being able and willing to reach out for the help they need. They may be unable to admit that they are powerless over the addiction and can no longer control their own behavior.


In a remarkable statement, Christie had noted that he is “pro-life for the whole life,” which is often something the Democratic opposition has critical of regarding Republican policies relating to the control of women over their own bodies.


Since his friend’s funeral Christie has nurtured an specific interest in the opioid epidemic, devoting nearly 40 of his 50-minute address in the New Jersey State-of-the-State address this year to the subject of addiction and treatment options, and the promise of a future for those caught up in this terrible trap.


As Governor, he had the option to expand Medicare for his constituents and they have greatly benefitted from the treatment options that are now available to them in New Jersey.

Avacados All 4 Seasons !

Avocados all year around, and at a cheaper price? Yes please! According to an article seen here at this may soon become a reality. Currently California grows a staggering 90 percent of the avocados grown here in the U.S. but that still leaves us needing to import up to 85 percent of the 4 billion avocados we consume every single year (doubling the amount consumed in 2005). These numbers really put the pressure on the nearly 4 thousand avocado farmers in California.

Mary Lu Arpaia, researcher from UC Riverside has spent the last 20 years trying to develop a strand of avocado that can within stand both California’s summer and winter months. Not only would this allow for us guacamole lovers to enjoy our favorite topping all year around but it may not have to break the bank. Additionally it is being said that this new improved fruit will retain the most desirable traits of avocado and leave behind some of the less desirable traits; such as early browning known to be caused by polyphenol oxidase, the enzyme responsible for the guacamole’s demise.

GEM avocados just maybe be the diamond in the rough giving the popular ‘Hass’ avocados a run for its money. The University of Riverside has entered agreement with Westfalia Fruit Estates to further their avocado agricultural growth. GEM avocado trees are more favorable for growing as their annual yield is consistent. The GEM trees also grow lower to the ground and the fruit tends to grow towards the inner part of the tree allowing for it to be more protected from the elements. GEM avocados can be identified by its’ round shape as compared to its tear drop shaped predecessor. Additionally the GEM begins with a green skin and turning almost black when it’s ready to be eaten.

Weather you enjoy your creamy fruit ( yes I’m still talking about the avocado) as a topping on your food, an ingredient in a sauce or enjoy eating it straight out of its shell, I think we can all agree that we will be thanking Mary when we can get our fruit year around at an affordable price.

Baby Boxes In New Jersey

New Jersey is leading the way in preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). They are sending new baby home with a sturdy cardboard box fitted with a mattress. These boxes are to be used for the first months for baby’s sleeping. They promote healthy sleeping and should reduce sleep complications. Baby Boxes can be used instead of a basinet for new baby. They are given to mothers who register online and who join the program. Babies will go home with some additional gifts inside, like onesies and baby wipes.


These baby boxes originated in Finland, decades ago, as part of a government program to reduce SIDS and now they have the lowest baby mortality rate. Originally offered to low income families, now they are available to every newborn. About 80% of unexpected infant deaths have been attributed to SIDS and some of those deaths have attributed to babies sleeping environment. For the first few months of their lives babies are at a greater risk especially those whose families cannot afford a basinet. These boxes were designed to provide a safe environment for these little ones.


Jernica Quinones was the first mother in New Jersey to receive the free Baby Box. Dr. Kathie McCans, a pediatric emergency physician at Cooper University Hospital said, “It’s really not about the box: it’s about the education… Honestly, people like free things and the box is the incentive for the education.” According to Dr. McCans, in New Jersey in 2014, 57 of the state’s 61 cases of sudden and unexpected infant deaths involved unsafe sleeping circumstances.


Those stories that previous generations told of babies sleeping in a dresser drawer or an old packaging crate make sense now. For centuries parents everywhere made do with what they had available. Many families co-slept, put babies in hand made box basinets and cradles. Since babies only use a basinet for a short period of time before moving into a crib, baby boxes are cost effective as well. Though New Jersey was the first state to offer these baby boxes, they are now available in Ohio and Alabama. These three states combined plan on giving away 350,000 boxes.


Baby Boxes for Central New Jersey Parents

New Jersey is the first state in the U.S. to offer baby boxes to its residents. These boxes are part of the state’s effort to minimize the rate of infant death. They come with baby supplies and a comfortable mattress.


A report by SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death) shows that deaths of most infants in New Jersey are as a result of hazardous sleeping environments. The baby box initiative is expected to help prevent infant deaths in all parts of New Jersey -including Central New Jersey.



So, how does the program work? Parents of infants under three months old are supposed to register for free baby boxes. After registering, they watch a short parenting video at and take a quiz to qualify for the boxes. Parents who pass the test will get sleeping boxes containing breast pads, diapers, wipes and other newborn essentials.



Baby Box Co. has partnered with the government of New Jersey to supply the boxes to homes of registered families. Parents also have the option to collect their baby boxes from various distribution centers.



Newborns can use the boxes for the first six months of their life. Baby boxes are said to improve the health of many infants who sleep in them. This idea originated from Finland. Finland has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.



The parenting video is one of the most important aspects of the Baby Box program. It will help dads and moms to learn more about the sleep safety of infants and general parenting. It’s vital for all parents to understand that the sleeping environment of their babies plays a significant role in their health.



Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) updated the sleeping guidelines of infants. They recommended that babies should sleep on a firm sleeping surface. The infant’s crib shouldn’t have bumpers, pillows, stuffed animals or blankets. You can read more about infant sleeping guidelines on



APP also recommends that babies should sleep in the same room as their parents. However, parents should avoid sharing their bed with their newborns. Infants need to sleep in protected spaces. Dr. Moon, APP’s chairperson, said that the Baby Box providers are doing the right thing in ensuring babies sleep safely.




The Value of Family According To One Central New Jersey Couple

Robert Markowitz’s family history does not include aging gracefully. His father of sixty plus years old, died at a tennis court, in the same year that he would often ride bicycles from Rye to Martha’s Vineyard in New York. Robert adopted his family’s tradition of an active family life and currently has to find clever ways to escape his daughter’s playful wrestles. He writes that Kate, his teenage daughter, jabs and pokes at him as an invitation to get him out of his cocoon. Though contrasting with Robert’s playful parenting style, Kate’s mother is a thorough parent who will go above and beyond to ensure her child has a smoother time growing up. Robert refers to her as the family’s psychotherapist because of the amount of information she has figured out about every family member. According to his wife, Kate enjoys attacking his father’s quiet times with games and tickles so as to get his attention when he is distant.


A close family unit is not a blessing every person enjoys. Unlike Kate, unavoidable circumstances may leave one with the sole option of having to be an adopted child. However, countless people express their gratitude for finding an amazing family with whom they share life. According to studies, couples who consider adoption so as to become parents often turn out to be loving, committed and stable parents to these lucky children. They are excited about having a family after exhausting all other options of trying to birth children without success.


According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight married couples battle infertility. Lindy and Thomas are a Mormon couple living in Central Jersey who went against their religious beliefs when they could not conceive. They sought the help of a sperm donor after learning that Thomas was barren. After several failed attempts at vitro fertilization and one miscarriage, they opted to check out the biggest adoption website which is more affordable in comparison to seeking out the services of an adoption agent. After screening two women, the couple finally adopted a son, Grayson, and are currently looking to adopt a second child. Couples or an individual must receive a background check and home inspection clearance to qualify for adoption. Despite the emotional turmoil that stems from the process, Lindy and Thomas are happy with their decision new found family.




The Role of Women in the Home and How Men Came to Appreciate It

In Montclair, New Jersey there was a NY Times article about how the men of this town felt when women left to go and march in Washington, D.C. and New York. It goes without saying that Twitter had a lot of people making comments about the article that looked to celebrate dads that were in a parenting role for a single day.


It did not just happen in New Jersey, but there were men around the world that were wondering what they would do if their wife decided to march together and show the world what it would be like in a world without women.


When this was a story that broke on the news a lot of people instantly thought about all the different jobs that the women have in the business world. They were thinking about the different jobs that women have done and the way that women have changed to work culture.


What many of these people did not do is consider what lots of these women did in the home. There are so many stay-at-home moms that do the work that many people would get paid for if they were working in her own environment as a nanny or maid. Many of these women get up early and go to sleep late because they are taking care of their children and other household duties. Many dads that became the ones that were in charge of getting the kids ready or getting multiple children fed would find themselves in a great predicament. The reason that this was a bit of an alarming situation for many men is that they had never done it before.


This march was very impactful, and it was a day that was felt around the world as women joined together in forces to show their union and make people realize just how valuable they were. This was evident in the business world, but the men and Montclair,New Jersey also recognized this in homes in their little neck of the woods as well. Men that have been taking the jobs of their wives for granted in the home could easily gain more appreciation. This march and time away from their roles would show that women make a big difference.


Helping Your Central New Jersey Teen Lose Weight

Raising teenagers is not easy. Most of the time, they won’t even talk to you. You might ask them how their day at school was, and in response, you’ll get an annoyed eye roll before they walk out of the room. This is not easy to live with, but they’re your children. Moreover, they’ll eventually grow out of this phase, which is good because no one can live with a person like this forever.


Even though it’s difficult to live with a teenager who always seems annoyed and perturbed at something or other, you’re the parent, and it’s your job to help your child when they need something. Being overweight in middle school or high school is extremely difficult for teenagers. This is actually a large problem facing these young adults. They may be made fun of by their peers or bullies at school, or they may simply feel self-conscious about their weight. As a parent, you can help your child lose weight in a healthy way.


Before doing this, it’s important to know that not all teenagers need to lose weight even if they say they want to. Many teenagers think that they are overweight, but they really have body dysmorphia and think that they are larger than they really are. Again, as the parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your child actually needs to lose weight if they tell you that they want to go on a diet.


To help your teenager lose weight, you’ll need to do two things. First, you’ll need to teach them some things about counting calories and taking care of their nutrition, and second, you’ll need to help them integrate exercise into their daily routine.


Losing weight is a fairly easy concept. Your teenager will need to expend more calories than they take in. They can do this by choosing an optimal daily caloric intake and tracking their calories on a regular basis. They should be eating lots of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Similarly, help your teenager make sure that they’re getting some form of exercise every day. Aim for 20 minutes a day at least five times a week.


These Are the Top Traits of Healthy Families in Central New Jersey

Staying healthy yourself is hard enough, but helping your family be healthy is something different altogether. It can be extremely difficult to make sure that you put healthy food on the table every day and engage your family in physical activity on a regular basis as well. If you would like to improve these things about your family and help yourselves become healthier, check out the following list. These are the top traits that healthy families consistently have.


  1. They exercise together.


The healthiest families find ways to exercise together. They may go on walks, bike rides or hike together.


  1. They don’t watch too much TV.


Families that are healthy don’t tend to congregate around the TV too much. They may watch a few shows, but they don’t leave it on constantly.


  1. They limit screen time altogether.


In addition to limiting TV time, screen time on tablet devices, computers and smart phones is also limited.


  1. They eat at the table.


Healthy families always eat dinner at the table when they can. If they’re home for breakfast or lunch, they might also eat these meals at the table. This is a great time to talk and chat, and it also helps everyone focus more on the meal.


  1. They help prepare meals together.


Food preparation can be one of the biggest challenges of taking care of the family, and it’s especially hard if you are trying to include healthy recipes into your eating schedule. Healthy recipes usually involve lots of chopping, spiralizing, sautéing and baking. Preparing meals as a family can help greatly in this.


Here is one last thing to remember. Following the guidelines listed above to keep your family fit and healthy is a great idea, but no one’s perfect. If you splurge on some ice cream every once in a while or decide to watch a movie instead of going for your daily walk when it’s pouring rain outside, that’s okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t fit absolutely everything into your healthy schedule. Simply spending time together and spending time focusing on health well improve the wellbeing of your family overall.


Nintendo Switch Made with Families in Mind

It’s been popping up in newsfeeds and getting quite a bit of attention on tech news sites, and it might be one of the hottest selling electronic items in 2017 that actually gets a family to spend more time together. The Nintendo Switch is finally coming to online and retail stores and fans of the longtime gaming company are eager for its launch March 3.

The Nintendo Switch is designed to be big with busy families, allowing users to play a large number of age-appropriate games anywhere they want, in the home or on the road. You can plug the Switch into your TV and also take the portable, handheld gaming device out the backdoor with a quick flick of the console. Switch allows you to get those kids out of the living room and into the great outdoors without missing a level or expending a virtual life. This game changer is retailing for $299.99.

The Nintendo Switch is loaded with family-friendly games that will get everybody lounging on the couch fired up and playing together. Confirmed games for the March 3 launch include “Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & 2”, “Just Dance 2017,” “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” and “Super Bomberman R” among others. Lego and other well-known game brands are gearing up for later launches on Switch.

This new home gaming system boasts the ability to give gamers more freedom for fun and families more ways to have a blast together on many different levels. Grandparents, kids and cousins of all ages will want to get in on the Switch action.

Clowns Chasing Children In New Jersey Terrifies Parents

Across the country, we have seen a ridiculous trend of people dressing up like clowns to scare strangers. The stories are endless. Some are harmless, while others are terrifying. Joggers on a run are confronted with a creepy clown on their path. A man spots a clown standing in his yard. These stories are scary, but when you add children into the mix, things get even scarier. It seems as New Jersey parents now have one more thing to worry about. The local media reported at least four clown sightings and explained a possible threat to children.

At least two children from central New Jersey have reported being confronted by a person dressed as a clown. And, it gets worse. These clowns were carrying weapons. One of these children’s stories is truly horrifying. Tyler Carpenter explains that he was walking home through an alley when he spotted a person dressed as a clown. The clown begin walking towards him and that’s when he noticed the person was carrying a sword. The child alleges that the clown muttered a threat before chasing him. Fortunately, Carpenter was able to get home safely and call authorities.

In the same town of Phillipsburg, another child came forth with their own clown encounter. The child alleges that he and two other children were walking home from school when a group of clowns emerged from the woods and began to chase them,

So far, authorities have made no arrests in these cases and do not have any suspects, As clown sightings around the country have began to wind down, parents are hoping this means incidents like this will stop happening, Fortunately, in all of these situations, the children were able to get to safety and were not harmed in any way.