The Middlesex Superior Court’s County Drug Court Program Is 2019 Tree of Hope Recipient

IMG958642 Pictured above are Leslie Hirsch, Interim CEO and President, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System and Heather Ward, Wellspring’s Coordinator of School & Family Programs.

Wellspring Center for Prevention will be celebrating the 2019 National Recovery Month by dedicating its "Tree of Hope" to The Middlesex Superior Court's County Drug Court program.

The "Tree of Hope" is awarded annually to an organization that promotes recovery from addiction. A ceremony to recognize the program will take place Wednesday, September 25, 2019, from 2:00pm - 4:00pm. The public is invited to attend.

The Middlesex County drug court is a diversionary program that works in a collaborative effort with the court system, defense lawyers, the probation department, substance abuse evaluators, and addiction treatment providers. The program strives to combat incarceration of offenders who commit criminal offenses because of their substance use disorder and instead help them achieve recovery. Participants of the drug court program are required to complete four phases of an intense drug and alcohol treatment and recovery program. Participants who have completed the final phase of the program receive certificates of successful completion during the graduation ceremony.

The Middlesex County drug court program has been extremely effective in positively transforming numerous lives. Since the program began in 2004, 324 participants have successfully graduated and 27 children of participants have been born drug-free. The drug court program is currently helping more than 425 participants.

Wellspring's annual Tree of Hope campaign is designed to raise the consciousness of our neighbors to the fact that addiction is an illness from which many do recover, and to celebrate those recoveries. This annual event is one of the agency's primary fundraising vehicles and supports their confidential information and referral Helpline, which helps over 800 individuals and families annually to begin their journey of recovery.

During this year's annual Tree of Hope event we will be honoring Albie Aveta, a former Middlesex County drug court 2013 graduate.

His career oriented path began with his own surrender to substance abuse. Since graduation, Albie has proved great dedication and commitment to the recovery community. He is a Recovery Specialist at RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention concentrating in the area of substance abuse and helps place patients into treatment centers.

Albie has continuously practiced the principals of recovery for over eight years. The experience and gratitude intrigued his interest in educating himself personally, and academically in the field of behavioral studies. As such, he has an Associate's Degree in Science of Psychology from Brookdale University and graduate Rutgers University with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and a minor in psychology. In addition, he has 5 years' experience as an Extended Stay Counselor currently working with Drug Court clients at Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders as well.

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