NEWTON, NJ-- The Center for Prevention and  Counseling held a meeting on the morning of Wednesday, August 24, at their offices in Newton to discuss the status of the Sussex County C.L.E.A.R. Program and to determine next steps to take in their effort to locally combat the opiate epidemic. 

Since its official launch on July 18, 2016, “seven residents were helped to enter a treatment program and twenty-five others were connected to coaches and other referrals and services available at the C:enter for Prevention and Counseling,” shared Katie Calvacca, the CLEAR Program Coordinator.

In attendance were:

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  • Sussex County Prosecutor Francis Koch
  • Chief Bret Alemy, Hardyston Police and President of the Sussex County Police Chiefs’ Association
  • Sussex County Freeholder Director George Graham
  • Newton Mayor Sandra Diglio and Newton Deputy Manager Debra Millikin
  • Hopatcong Mayor Sylvia Petillo
  • Sarah Balzano, Administrator of the Sussex County Department of Human Services
  • James Furgeson of the Newton Medical Center
  • Dr. Jean-Paul Bonnet
  • Peer Recovery Coaches
  • Chiefs/Officers from the Byram, Andover, Hamburg and Sparta Police Departments
  • Officers from the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Facility

The Center for Prevention and Counseling already has plans to provide training to Law Enforcement Officers across the county as well as to expand the CLEAR program to all Police Departments. 

“Outreach to those struggling with addiction will be decidedly improved as the program expands. We need everyone’s help to share information about the CLEAR Program,” said Becky Carlson, Executive Director at the Center for Prevention and Counseling.

The C.L.E.A.R program has received resolutions of support from the County Freeholder Board and several municipalities and those at the Center, as well as Chief Richards and the volunteers, are continuing their efforts to inform local leaders about this valuable and innovative program. 

“The message is CLEAR, everyone benefits from helping people with a substance use disorder – the individual, their family, their employer and the community at large. The many societal ill effects and criminal activity so often associated with opioid addiction can be prevented”, said Carlson.

The CLEAR Program is actively partnering with treatment centers, many of which are providing treatment at no cost for those who are uninsured. This program has helped open doors to recovery for residents who had nowhere to turn to in the past.

“Recovery can be achieved and the CLEAR Program is poised to make a major difference in the quality of life in Sussex County,” said Carlson.

The success of the program, however, is dependent on the continued efforts of the volunteer peer recovery coaches and the financial support of county residents and businesses. Those involved in the C.L.E.A.R program ask the community to consider donating to help their education and outreach efforts and to assist participants with treatment related expenses. 

For more information or to make an online donation, please visit www.CLEARprogram.org. Those seeking assistance can also call to speak with a CLEAR representative Monday through Friday from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. call 1-844-SC-CLEAR.