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About the Crisis

NJTV challenges members of the public to write an original poem, write a testimonial or send a video about how addiction has affected themselves or their family.  The poem could be about a person’s own experiences with addiction and recovery, how drug abuse has affected his or her family, a memorial to someone lost to an overdose or other related experience. The poetry initiative is part of the network’s year-long community engagement project addressing the Garden State’s opioid and heroin overdose epidemic, entitled Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis.

In addition to submissions from the general public, two local professional poets, Grisel Acosta and Marjorie Barnes, were involved with NJTV’s Addiction Crisis initiative, attending the network’s community forum at the Boys & Girls Club of Newark in October 5, 2016. From their observations at the forum, they were challenged to write creative pieces that were read as in-progress works during the 2016 Dodge Poetry Festival at a session coordinated by The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). The call for poems portion of NJTV’s Addiction Crisis initiative is made possible by a grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Each poetry submission in this site, and any statement or opinion expressed therein, is the work of its author, and does not reflect the views or opinions of NJTV.  Some material may contain graphic content.

Share your story of a struggle with addiction — be it your own story, or the struggle of a friend or family member.
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  • By submitting this form (your “Submission”), You represent, warrant and agree that (i) the information you have provided is truthful to the best of your knowledge, (ii) NJTV may share your Submission with its affiliated stations, THIRTEEN and WLIW (collectively with their parent company WNET and all affiliates, “WNET”), (iii) WNET may use your Submission, in whole or in part, in all manner and media, including but not limited to the Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis project, including companion materials and ancillary platforms (the “Project”), and Project and institutional promotion and outreach, (iv) your Submission may be edited for brevity or inappropriate content, and (v) you possess or have obtained the rights necessary to grant the foregoing permissions.

Dan Nelson

Newark, NJ, United States

This is an excerpt from Dan's participation at the NJTV’s Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis Community Forum on June 15, 2016 at Rutgers University. To watch the recorded livestream ...

Dr. Andrew Kolodny

Newark, NJ, United States

Dr. Andrew Kolodny This is an excerpt from Dr. Kolodny’s participation at the NJTV’s Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis Panel on April 29, 2016 at the Atlantic City Convention ...

Joanne McCarthy

Newark, NJ, United States

What is Addiction? This is an excerpt from Joanne McCarthy's participation at the NJTV’s Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis Community Forum on March 29, 2016 at The Clarion Hotel ...

Asm. Chris Brown

Newark, NJ, United States

Educating Court Officials - Asm. Chris Brown's Perspective This is an excerpt from Asm. Brown’s participation at the NJTV’s Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis Panel on April 29, 2016 ...

Kathy Gitto

Newark, NJ, United States

This is an excerpt from Kathy Gitto's participation at the NJTV’s Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis Community Forum on March 29, 2016 at The Clarion Hotel and Conference ...

Dimitri Reyes

Newark, NJ, United States

I Need My Pills by Dimitri Reyes the tears/ don’t fall out of these/ eyes/ because I have a problem/ it’s coming from the heat/ in my skull/ from blood rushing to my brain/ ...

Brendan Latimer

Point Pleasant Borough, New Jersey

When Nick got out of rehab April 2016 I was elated. Over the course of our friendship our paths crossed many times, each time burning up each other’s lives with ...

Johnnie Jones

South Orange, NJ, United States

Copyright © 2002 Johnnie Jones Tucker BROTHA’ So you think that high is so good that it knows you so well So good that when it’s too much your mind will say ‘that’s ...

Monte Williams

Newark, NJ, United States

My story tells of the thirty year battle fought with drug addiction culminating in a life of state prison sentences which landed me in Bayside State Prison 1 week before ...

Liberty Justice

TAKE YOUR BUTT BACK TO REHAB, BOY By Liberty Justice Jr., your affliction is your addiction. Take your poppy seed butt back to rehab. Before you cop another drug conviction. Don't take your mom's cadi; ...

Roy Mccready

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire , United Kingdom

Lady Destiny By Roy Mccready Skeptical of my being I stand confronting fear As age old memories decline to surrender to yesteryear Crawling through the voids to the grey lands of my mind Rivers of ...

Katie Calvacca

Hamburg, NJ, United States

Unexpected Love by Katie Calvacca I take a breath and close my eyes and give thanks to the Lord Who hears our cries. In my mind, rewind back to the time when I didn't believe, ...

Annmarie Shafer

Newton

I SEE MY SON By Annmarie Shafer I see my son in the young boy playing soccer with his team on the school field I see my son doing homework, feeding his cat, ...

Loren O'Donnell

Whippany, NJ, United States

"The following four poems were written by my daughter Molly O'Donnell. We lost her on April 8, 2016 from a heroin overdose. It was her wish and now my mission ...

Sheldon Kleiner

New York, NY, United States

"The Land of Nod" By Sheldon Kleiner Rub your nose and don't suppose you'll rub your nose no more Feeling sick and feeling fine How could this be? At the same time? Smoking fags and feeling queer People ...