Addiction No Longer: Toms River man begins service to help recovering addicts
A Toms River man has taken on an initiative to help those struggling through the disease of addiction find recovery and reach their goal of getting clean with his service, 'Addiction No Longer'.
CEO of the group, Anthony Chiacchio explains that they provide services for those who are suffering with addiction and for those who are trying to get and stay clean.
"It's like a post rehab guidance," said Chiacchio. "We will drug test them, give them support, give their families support and push them in the right direction."
He says they provide services for at least a month but he encourages users to stay as long as they need.
"One month includes four drug tests and all the guidance and support that one will need to overcome the addiction," said Chiacchio.
He says they also encourage users to attend regular Narcotics Anonymous meetings and even begin a regular exercise routine, like going to the gym and work towards putting their addiction behind them.
Chiacchio adds that he has received referrals for Addiction No Longer services from boyfriends, girlfriends or family members of someone struggling to find help and recovery, but it's ultimately their decision to come in and get clean.
"The user has to want to get clean, if they don't want to get clean, there's no way they're going to get clean," said Chiacchio. "Even if parents are pushing them to get clean they have to want it."
The reason the Toms River High School East 2010 graduate started this service about a month ago was stemming from something personal happening in his life.
"My brother was addicted for 12-years and thank God he's past that now, but that's why I started this," said Chiacchio.
As Ocean County and New Jersey continues to battle the opioid and heroin epidemic wreaking havoc across the state, Chiacchio feels one of the problems currently on the surface is there's such a large demand for those drugs here, especially among high school kids and teenagers.
"They go to parties and it's like, 'try this' or 'try that' and the next thing you know they're hooked on prescription pills," said Chiacchio. "After a while the pills cost so much money and they'll go to heroin."
The former State Corrections Officer and intern with the Ocean County Prosecutors Office fears another dangerous portion inside the epidemic is people are more interested in dealing drugs instead of finding a full-time job because in some cases money is easier to come by.
Which is one of the reasons why Chiacchio agrees with the idea of expanding drug education further back in the school system, to even kids in Elementary and Middle School.
"They should be taught at such a young age so that when they come to high school, they're not even thinking about using," said Chiacchio.
To learn more about Addiction No Longer, refer someone or if your looking for treatment services yourself contact Anthony on Instagram, Facebook or at 848-221-4533.