O’Scanlon: We must decide if addiction is like a bad habit or like cancer

By Declan O’Scanlon

(Editor’s note: This is the original unedited edition of an OpEd published in The Asbury Park Press. “They edited out some good stuff,” O’Scanlon said)

Last month, my brother passed away…..almost exactly 33 years from the day our mother died. He was the same age as my mother when she died, and he died of exactly the same cause – addiction.

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Posted: February 19th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

FDU Public Mind Poll: New Jersey’s Government Is Inept

Voters Give Christie, Legislature low marks. No confidence in government impacting addiction crisis, State is on the wrong track

State of the State 2017(Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

The vast majority of New Jersey voters, 74%, think individuals and families should be most responsible for ensuring that those seeking treatment for alcohol and drug treatment find what they need, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind Poll released this morning. 22% think government should be most responsible for getting addicts help.

Those who favor personal and family responsibility over government intervention include 64% of Democrats, 82% of Independents and 87% of Republicans.  60% said the know someone personally who is or was addicted to alcohol or drugs.  70% said they know someone who has died as a result of addiction.

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Posted: January 31st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

O’Scanlon: Not all Republicans see eye to eye on issues of homosexuality and addiction

By Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Last year, the New Jersey legislature voted on a measure that prohibited the infliction of “sexual orientation reparative therapy” on young individuals of our state. This is the frequently torturous “treatment” designed to turn the gay straight. Although I abstained on the vote because of a potential technical issue, I vocally supported the initiative. Recently, the debate on this issue has re-emerged as several high-profile national and local Republicans have discussed both this issue and homosexuality. Their words demand comment.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, taking issue with policies prohibiting this “treatment,” justified his position last year by suggesting that homosexuality was simply a destructive lifestyle choice, which he went on to say was just like alcoholism. Perry managed to insult and infuriate the entire gay community along with every member of every family who has ever dealt with addiction issues – all at once. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon also vying for the Republican presidential nomination, suggested that being gay was a choice – as evidenced by supposed prison conversions. The most recent commentary came from Congressman Scott Garrett (R-5th District), who expressed a refusal to support gay candidates and said the Republican Party shouldn’t either.

These men each have a long list of substantial accomplishments and I bet I agree with them on most policy issues. But on the issues of homosexuality and addiction each of them has demonstrated a stunning level of closed-minded ignorance that – notwithstanding their apparent inability to genuinely embrace reality – most people of average intelligence would instinctively know to try to conceal.

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Posted: July 31st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments »