It is well-established that drug use and addiction is a major problem that impacts all of us on multiple levels; individuals, families and communities bear the many ill-effects that it has on our safety, health and the economy. The alarming reality of the heroin/opiate epidemic, in particular, has created an urgent need to work together to reverse these trends.
We also recognize that for any anti-drug program to be effective, strong enforcement must be supported by an effort to reduce the demand for illegal substances and this is best accomplished through continued prevention education along with improved access to treatment and recovery support.
The mission of the Sussex County C.L.E.A.R. program is to form a collaborative network of professionals in our community who will facilitate medical intervention, improved access to treatment and recovery support for those struggling with drug addiction who seek assistance, without fear of arrest or prosecution, in order to make a positive difference in the quality of life for individuals, families and our entire community.
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A life cut short by addiction; Franklin family's grief spurs call to action
Steven Freaney and Tim Deaver, owners of TJ's Pizzeria Cafes in Franklin and Sussex, have set up a GoFundMe to provide Robert J. Hontz with a cemetery plot and headstone and to benefit the Sussex County CLEAR Program. Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/robertjhontz.
Freaney and Deaver have known John Hontz as a regular customer at their restaurant, and now as an ally in the battle against opiate addiction.
Deaver said, "My son is the same age as Robbie; they played in band and graduated Hamburg Middle School together. My son can count 15 former schoolmates dead of overdoses."
Freaney said, "We believe that our county is under attack, and heroin is the weapon of mass destruction aimed at our very heart -- our youth. This was an epidemic created on a national level, but we must fend for ourselves."