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Injecting Drug Use Trends in New Jersey (16HH02)

Sarah Quinless, B.A., Program Support Specialist, FXB Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Virginia Allread, M.P.H., New Jersey AIDSLine Editor, FXB Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and Glenn J. Treisman M.D., Ph.D., Director of AIDS Psychiatry Services, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as contributing author


Release Date: December 1, 2013
Expiration: November 30, 2015
Activity Code: 16HH02

This content is being provided for informational purposes only.

As seen in the December 2013 edition of



Sponsored by François-Xavier Bagnoud Center, School of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the Center for Continuing and Outreach Education at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.


This activity is supported by an educational grant from the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH)—Division of HIV, STD and TB Services, through an MOA titled “Education and Training for Physicians and other Healthcare Professionals in the Diagnosis and Treatment of HIV/AIDS.”

Statement of Need

Current data suggest that injection drug use has shifted from the stereotypical drug users of the early HIV-era, when the face of the HIV-infected injecting drug user (IDU) was inner city, ethnic minority and low-income. Since the 1990s there has been a progressive increase in misuse and abuse of prescription pain pills, particularly in suburban and rural areas. The addiction to prescription pain pills has provided a gateway to heroin use and addiction—including heroin injection—in the same non-urban population. The skyrocketing number of suburban and rural drug overdose mortality is testament to the importance of screening all patients for addiction.

Providers need to be aware of recent shifts in risk factors for prescription pill abuse and heroin use, as they are well-placed to both prevent addiction to prescription pills and refer into care when patients show signs of addiction. The stigma surrounding drug use is also an ongoing problem, and one that makes it challenging for clinicians to have an open dialogue with patients showing signs of drug addiction. Screening approaches that are not stigmatizing and nonjudgmental are more likely to lead to successful referrals into care.

New Jersey has a number of available treatment options to which clinicians can refer patients in need of addiction or harm reduction services. The State of New Jersey keeps an up-to-date directory to support patient referral to drug treatment.

Target Audience

This activity is designed for physicians, nurses, social workers, health educators, and other health care professionals in New Jersey who are involved in the care of people with HIV.

Method of Participation

Participants should read the learning objectives, review the activity in its entirety, and then complete the self-assessment test, which consists of a series of multiple-choice questions. Upon completing this activity as designed and achieving a passing score of 70% or more on the self-assessment test and submitting a course evaluation, participants will receive a printable credit statement.

Estimated time to complete this activity as designed is 1.04 hours for nurses, and 0.75 hour for physicians.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify the current trends in injecting drug use (IDU) in New Jersey
  2. Recognize the importance of screening clients for injecting drug use and/or opiate abuse
  3. Refer patients for addiction treatment


Activity Directors/CME Academic Advisors

Patricia Kloser, MD, MPH, Infectious Disease Specialist

Margaret Evans, MSN, RN, CCOE Primary Nurse Planner; Nurse Manager for Education and Performance Improvement at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group.

Planning Committee

Virginia Allread, MPH, AIDSLine Editor and Global Program Director, FXB Center, Rutgers

Linda Berezny, RN, BA Supervising Program Development Specialist Prevention and Education, NJDOH, Division of HIV, STD and TB Services

Carolyn Burr, RN, EdD, Deputy Director, FXB Center, Rutgers

Ellen Dufficy, RN, Nurse Consultant, Ryan White Part D, NJDOH, Division of HIV, STD and TB Services

Alicia Gambino, MA, CHES, Director of Public Education, New Jersey Poison Information & Education System

Sindy Paul, MD, MPH, FACPM, Medical Director, NJDOH, Division of HIV, STD and TB Services

Joanne Phillips, RN, MS, Education Specialist, FXB Center, Rutgers

Renee Powell, BS, RN, Clinical Coordinator Quality Management, FXB Center, Rutgers

Sarah Quinless, BA, Program Coordinator, FXB Center, Rutgers

Michelle Thompson, Program Manager, FXB Center, Rutgers

Elizabeth Ward, MSJ, Executive Director, Rutgers CCOE

Activity Authors

Sarah Quinless, BA, Program Support Specialist, FXB Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Virginia Allread, MPH, New Jersey AIDSLine Editor, FXB Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Glenn J. Treisman MD, PhD, Director of AIDS Psychiatry Services, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as contributing author


Credit is no longer available for this activity.

Peer Review

In order to help ensure content objectivity, independence, and fair balance, and to ensure that the content is aligned with the interest of the public, CCOE has resolved all potential and real conflicts of interest through content review by non-conflicted, qualified reviewers. This activity was peer-reviewed for relevance, accuracy of content and balance of presentation by Joanne Phillips, RN, MS and Carolyn K. Burr, EdD, RN.

Field Test:
This activity was field tested for time required for participation by Bonnie R. Abedini, MSN, RN; David John Cennimo, MD; Jojy Cheriyan, MD, MPH, MPhil; Anna M. Haywood, RN, MSN; Mary C. Krug, RN, MSN, APN; Kinshasa Morton, MD; Shobha Swaminathan, MD; and Kara Winslow, BSN, RN.

Disclosure Disclaimer

In accordance with the disclosure policies of Rutgers University and to conform with ACCME and FDA guidelines, individuals in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose to the activity participants: 1) the existence of any relevant financial relationship with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients, with the exemption of non-profit or government organizations and non-health care related companies, within the past 12 months; and 2) the identification of a commercial product/device that is unlabeled for use or an investigational use of a product/ device not yet approved.

Disclosure Declarations

The authors, activity directors, planning committee members, peer reviewer and field testers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Off-Label Usage Disclosure

This activity does not contain information of commercial products/devices that are unlabeled for use or investigational uses of products not yet approved.

Content Disclaimer

The views expressed in this activity are those of the faculty. It should not be inferred or assumed that they are expressing the views of NJDOH – Division of HIV, STD and TB Services, any manufacturer of pharmaceuticals or devices, or Rutgers University. It should be noted that the recommendations made herein with regard to the use of therapeutic agents, varying disease states, and assessments of risk, are based upon a combination of clinical trials, current guidelines, and the clinical practice experience of the participating presenters. The drug selection and dosage information presented in this activity are believed to be accurate. However, participants are urged to consult all available data on products and procedures before using them in clinical practice.

Copyright © 2013 Rutgers University

All rights reserved including translation into other languages. No part of this activity may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from Rutgers University

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