Addiction & Recovery: Helping Those in Need
This Caucus: New Jersey panel discussion highlights individuals and organizations working to improve the lives of people struggling with opioid and alcohol addiction by providing access to quality transitional housing, community outreach, and re-entry initiatives for formerly incarcerated inmates. The program examines the personal stories of three of the panelists who are in long-term recovery, and their determination once sober, to help others in need. This discussion explore topics such as treating substance abuse as a disease like cancer or diabetes; ways to eliminate the stigma of addiction in the workplace and community; and the complicated interconnected nature of addiction as both a mental and physical ailment.
Lisa E. Gladwell, Esq., In Long-Term Recovery & Chair, New Jersey Recovery Advocates
Brenda Antinore, Director, She Has a Name Ministry (SHAN)
Ray Chimileski, Founder and Executive Director, Operation Chillout
Bonnie O’Brien, Executive Director, Transition Professionals
"Welcome to Caucus. I'm Steve Adubato. Overcoming addiction is clearly difficult, but recovery is possible. And there are people who can and do help. Joining us in the studio are four individuals working every day to make a big difference in the lives of those who are trying to recover. Lisa Gladwell is Chair of NEW JERSEY RECOVERY ADVOCATES, Brenda Antinore is Director of She Has a Name Ministry, Ray Chimileski is Founder and Executive Director of Operation Chillout, and finally, Bonnie O'Brien is Executive Director, Transition Professionals. I want to thank all of you for joining us. And we'll say this here, we're doing this in cooperation with the Berrie Foundation, and all of you are in fact Russ Berrie Honorees - Awardees for Making a Difference. And we'll talk more about that as the show goes on. But all of you are connected to the question, or the challenge, of addiction and the effort to recover. We talked at last year's Berrie Awards, and I was struck by my conversation with you, because your story is a powerful one. Brenda, talk about your organization and how it started. The Ministry of She Has a Name? Yes. Started really as a result of a personal implosion in my life. I was a high school health teacher, and my husband was an attorney, and back in the early 90s, we found ourselves in serious marital disarray, which led my husband into South Camden, he got turned onto crack cocaine, and the rest, as they say, is history. And what was so powerful about that experience... because we were being put aside by everyone in the community. Shunned? Shunned completely. I mean, you know, community... professional people that we had known our entire life, and we had a few family members that stuck by us, but had no real understanding of where we were. And God actually placed a neighbor in my backyard who didn't know me, and began to extend simple kindnesses to me, because I was so filled with guilt and shame..."