SAYREVILLE, NJ - The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – New Jersey put on a phenomenal and educational event to kick-off the beginning of September as National Addiction Recovery Month with a forum examining supports that help stabilize the lives of people who are in recovery from alcohol or other drug problems. National Addiction Recovery Month focuses on the 23 million Americans who are in recovery from addiction and as a result, lead rich, fulfilling lives. Recovery support services which are vital in preventing relapse, and thus stemming the tides of addiction, include job training and referrals, education, housing, resume writing, computer skills, as well as fostering a supportive environment. These services are often the missing piece in rehabilitation.

The event was on Tuesday September 1st at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville, New Jersey and was attended by approximately 100 people. There were ten exhibitor tables, all highlighting work already being done across the state to support recovery. The exhibitors included: The Raymond J. Lesniak Experience Strength & Hope Recovery High School; Eva’s Village; Yoga4Sobriety; Young People in Recovery – New Brunswick, NJ; Advanced Health & Education; The College of New Jersey Collegiate Recovery Program; Middlesex County Jewish Family Services – JRecovery; Families Against Addiction; Elijah’s Promise; and Unite to Face Addiction.

The forum featured special guests, including Senator Joseph Vitale, chairman of the Senate Health and Senior Services Committee and Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios. The panel explored the role of recovery supports in keeping people alcohol- and drug-free. The members of the panel included: Michael Santillo, director of Clinical Services at Eva’s Village in Paterson, which opened the state’s first recovery center; Patrick Roff, the state Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services Addiction Consumer Advocate; Frank Greenagel, an addiction counselor and instructor at Rutgers University’s Center of Alcohol Studies; Pam Capaci, Executive Director of Prevention Links in Roselle and co-founder of The Raymond J. Lesniak Experience Strength & Hope High School; and Morgan Thompson, a member of Young People in Recovery – New Brunswick, NJ . Following the panelists’ presentations, and Q&A session took place, reveling a strong interest for recovery support services in Middlesex County.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recovery support services help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Because they are designed and delivered by peers who have been successful in the recovery process, they embody a powerful message of hope, as well as a wealth of experiential knowledge. The services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking to achieve or sustain recovery.