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DEA Hosts “HOPE: Chronicles of Drug Addiction and Recovery”
Recovering drug abusers share their stories of overcoming addiction

JUN 01 (NEWARK, N.J.) –– Sharing stories of recovery from prescription opioid and heroin addiction, writers from the New Jersey area help to inspire others who are battling addiction.  The project called “HOPE: Chronicles of Drug Addiction and Recovery” is sponsored jointly by the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.  Other sponsors include treatment facilities: Integrity House, New Hope, and Seabrook House.
 
The 15 top participants in the HOPE writing initiative will share their work during a public reading at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7 at the Kelsey Theater on the campus of Mercer Community College, West Windsor, N.J.  By sharing their stories of recovery the writers are helping to inspire others who are battling addiction and demonstrating that there is always HOPE.   

“We are hoping that sponsoring events like this will help to remove the stigma associated with addiction,” said Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s New Jersey Division.  “While the DEA’s primary mission is law enforcement, we realize the importance of events like HOPE.  The more that people ensnared in the web of addiction can see that others have found a way out, the more they will seek out treatment.  No matter how bleak things may seem, there is always HOPE.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2014 there were 18,893 overdose deaths associated with prescription opioids and 10,574 deaths associated with heroin overdoses.  Other statistics show that 4 out of 5 new heroin users started out abusing prescription opioid medications,” Kotowski added. “These statistics are staggering.  That is why a program such as this is so important.  We will continue to come up with innovative ways to fight the addiction epidemic facing us today.”


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