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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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NJ Lawmakers Weigh Proposal to Require Doctors to Use Prescription Drug Monitoring System

The fight against abuse of prescription drugs in New Jersey may be getting a boost from the federal government in the form of a plan that would require NJ doctors to utilize a nationwide database that tracks painkiller prescriptions.

Prescription Drug Abuse in New Jersey Is an Epidemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of several federal agencies that has begun taking steps to combat prescription drug abuse as reports circulate that painkiller overdoses, and subsequent deaths, are at an all-time high. Prescription drug addiction and abuse are major problems just about everywhere in the U.S., including New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Pill-Monitoring System in New Jersey

At this time, 49 states, including New Jersey and New York, already use prescription monitoring systems. In New Jersey, the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs keeps track of doctor prescriptions through the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP). The NJPMP requires pharmacies to submit weekly data on controlled dangerous substances (CDS) that are dispensed in outpatient settings. The problem is that most states, including New Jersey, do not require doctors to use the monitoring systems.

Now the federal government is calling for guidelines that would require doctors, not just pharmacists, to confirm a patient’s drug history before writing a prescription for painkillers. The thinking is that by requiring doctors to check a national database before actually issuing a prescription, it may be possible to more easily determine whether a particular individual is at significant risk of becoming addicted (or if they are already addicted and/or likely abusing prescription painkillers).

To learn more, read the article, “Federal Officials, Advocates Push Pill-Tracking Databases.”


If you or a loved one has been charged with illegal possession of prescription drugs, simple possession of marijuana, heroin possession or any other drug crime in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. The experienced South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty can help you fight your drug offense charges. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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