2019 Tree of Hope Awarded to The Middlesex County Superior Court Drug Court program

IMG954003 Recovery Champion Albie Aveta receives certificate expunging his past record

By: Gina-Marie Miraglia, Preventionist

This year, Wellspring Center for Prevention honored National Recovery Month by dedicating its "Tree of Hope" to The Middlesex County Superior Court Drug Court program.

The "Tree of Hope" is awarded annually to an organization that promotes recovery from addiction. The Middlesex County Drug Court program 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 helps them achieve recovery.

The Middlesex County Drug Court program has been extremely effective in positively transforming numerous lives. Needless to say that this multidimensional program was well deserving of recognition for their profound efforts to promote recovery.

At the event we had serval wonderful speakers from the Middlesex County Court system. The Honorable Alberto Rivas, Michael Toto, and Robert J. Jones all shared inspiring words of wisdom about the journey to recovery. They left the room full of hope and motivation.

During this year's annual Tree of Hope event we honored Albie Aveta, a former Middlesex County Drug Court 2013 graduate as our Recovery Champion. Ablie's career oriented path began with his own surrender to substance abuse and has continuously practiced the principals of recovery for over 8 years. His experience and gratitude intrigued his interest in educating himself personally, and academically, in the field of behavioral studies. Albie is now a Recovery Support Coordinator at RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery and is also a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist.

During the event, current Drug Court participants and attendees honored those who they have lost to the battel of addiction and stories of those who found recovery by writing their name of on ornament that was placed next to the Tree of Hope. These stories fostered a feeling of connection between everyone in the room. This year's Tree of Hope was a huge success and will be a memorable day for many.

Pictured are (from left): the Honorable Robert J. Jones, the Honorable Michael Toto, the Honorable Alberto Silva, and Wellspring Executive Director Ezra Helfand

The Tree of Hope plant and plaque are proudly displayed in the Middlesex County Superior County Drug Court lobby.

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