RANDOLPH, NJ- On January 25, the Randolph Municipal Alliance Committee (MAC) held their first monthly meeting of 2017 to discuss and review goals and plans for the year ahead.

The Randolph MAC was established in 1989 with the goal of combating alcoholism and drug abuse in the community. It is one of thirty-one alliances in Morris County, all of which are overseen by the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and funded through Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction (DEDR) fines that are collected for drug-related offenses.

“Our goals for 2017 remain the same as in previous years; to offer programs and opportunities to spread the message about substance abuse prevention,” said Liz Ritter, Randolph MAC Chairperson.  “In recent years our community and many others across the country are dealing with an epidemic of opioid abuse.  Randolph MAC members continue to explore new programs and initiatives to share with our community to prevent and control this disease that's claiming too many lives, young and old.”

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At the January meeting, treasurer Kate Olsakowski discussed some upcoming initiatives, including working with the Randolph YMCA to secure space for a parent education program “15 Minute Child Break”, the purchase of “Fatal Vision Goggles” and reviewing where in schools to place newly acquired “Distracted Driving Posters”.

Two guests were in attendance to offer additional program ideas for the committee to hear about.  Morris County Prevention is Key, an organization based in Rockaway, offers elementary and middle school programs on topics such as anger management, depression, bullying, drugs and alcohol, footprints for life and more, all for free to Morris County school districts.     

Anthony Polito, Director of Excel Treatment Center with locations in Dover and Randolph, also spoke to the group about the rapid increase in addiction problems in suburban communities, while addressing some of the reasons behind it.  

“I don’t think it is a mystery to anyone sitting in this room that we are in the midst of an epidemic,” said Polito.  “In fact, Governor Christie devoted almost his entire State Address to the opioid epidemic happening here in NJ.”

Polito further discussed the philosophy of his center and some treatment services they offer for all types of addictions, for both young and old.  

Local community leaders, school and municipal employees, clergy and private citizens who want to be involved in preventing alcohol, tobacco and drug-related problems in the township make up the MAC committee volunteers.

Anyone who would like to attend a meeting or get more information on what MAC does for the Randolph community, can contact MAC coordinator Kate Olsakowski by emailing kolsakowski@randolphnj.org or visit the link on the township website HERE: 

MAC is always looking for corporate sponsors to help in promoting education and prevention strategies.