Recovery Events and the Fight to End the Heroin Epidemic In New Jersey

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The Daily Point Headers

C1g92FYWEAA6k1aWe’ve had a busy few days over the past weekend between the Red Forum with Kevin Meara and City of Angels, NJ on Friday at Rider University to the event that I co-hosted with Jessica Nutt  at Bar Anticipation for the Fifth Annual Big Man’s Birthday Bash raising money for CFC Loud & Clear Foundation and The Overdose Prevention Agency Corporation (TOPAC).  Nick Clemons put on an incredible show on behalf of his late father and Jessica and I were honored to be a part of it.

C1nI2erUcAQbmX2Since most of the conversation has been on the lighter side of the event, especially since I was asked on stage by Eddie Testa and actually sang some of the songs with him.

 

 

 

 

It’s important to laugh and sing and enjoy entertainment for a good cause, especially when it accompanies fundraising that will directly help people in need.  It’s equally important to discuss the cause and some of the tough details that surround the ongoing battle to save people from the growing heroin epidemic.  

The Governor seems to be making the pitch that it’s time to focus on the heroin epidemic in New Jersey.  As sincere as I think he is about tackling the problem, actions speak a lot louder than words and vigils.  The fact that the state has lost 42% of the recovery & treatment beds over the past few years that were dedicated to people without the means of affording treatment speaks volumes to the lack of priorities in our state.  The fact that Narcan is deployed but in most cases the surviving person simply leaves, most likely to continue using is a striking reminder that our government is inept at fighting the problem.  I’ve talked to numerous people over the course of the year that we’ve been involved with this fight and so many parents and group leaders lament the fact that often times Narcan is used twice in the same day …on the same person.

It is time to stand up and fight. The money raised for CFC Loud & Clear, TOPAC and City of Angels goes directly to action.  

CFC Loud & Clear has been successful in helping get addicts and families the help they need through interventions, rehabilitation and recovery.  This is especially critical considering how many people leave rehab only to start using again.  

TOPAC has a mission dedicated to educating people about the so-called “Good Samaritan” law which provides an opportunity to friends of addicts who overdose to call 911 without compromising themselves.  The group was founded by Paul Ressler after his son died as a result of his friends leaving the scene for fear of getting in trouble with the police. They are also focusing on the idea of mandatory treatment for people who have been administered NArcan to try to stop the vicious cycle of addiction.

City of Angels NJ is focused on a partnership between law enforcement and recovery coaches in order to provide an alternative to legal consequences and get addicts the direct help they need to get clean and sober.

Jessica, Steve Trevelise and I are working on another Comedy show to benefit these groups as we try to do our part to push back against the epidemic and help families and individuals overcome the odds and win the war.

I’m often reminded of the conversation I had with Daniel Regan, a former addict himself who’s dedicated his life to helping others.  I mentioned on the air in conversation that I wished him well in his ongoing battle to remain sober.  He corrected me and said that it was not an ongoing battle, he had won.  He defeated the demons and is not in danger of falling back into addiction.  His real battle is to save others who are struggling everyday without support groups and resources to save themselves.  Bottom line is that Daniel offers hope that the cycle of addiction can be broken and individuals struggling to see through the horror of their current situation can come out on the other side a winner.  We’ll continue to fight, pray and act looking forward to the day that New Jersey’s heroin epidemic is long since past.

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