Murphy Should Listen To People Who Have Seen Addiction

Evzio is a name-brand naloxone auto injector that speaks the administering instructions when activated. The small window in its middle shows the drug, which should be clear. A milky liquid means the naloxone has expired and isn’t usable. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

This letter was addressed to Governor Phil Murphy, and shared with this newspaper.

I am the retired Chief of Police of the West Long Branch Police Department. In April of 2013, my son overdosed on heroin and was revived by the employment of Narcan and CPR. It was then I made a commitment to do whatever I could to diminish the stigma associated with addiction.

Governor Christie heard me speak at the press conference for the Narcan roll-out in Ocean County and appointed me to his Addiction Task Force. Working with Governor Christie and former Governor Jim McGreevey, I spoke at many gatherings throughout the State about addiction and stigma in particular. I remain very active in the addiction awareness community and currently serve on a steering committee for an addiction task force in Long Branch.

Governor Christie and I didn’t agree on many issues. We did however agree on how important it is to come together on the issue of addiction. You and I have a similar situation. I don’t agree with many of the initiatives that are the cornerstones of your administration, but I still feel it’s extremely important for people to put their differences aside when it comes to the life and death issue of addiction.

I’m not asking to necessarily serve on whatever your administration is assembling to address addiction. However, I am imploring you to make use of someone with whom you could work to continue addressing the stigma of addiction. I attended a steering committee meeting with members of the public and there was a resounding expression of the absolute need to do exactly that.

Larry Mihlon
Chief of Police, retired
West Long Branch Police Department

*The opinions expressed in the Letters To The Editor section do not necessarily reflect those of the staff, management or sponsors of Micromedia Publications/Jersey Shore Online. Letters to the Editor are the OPINION of the writer and the content is not necessarily checked for accuracy.*