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Jewish addiction group launched in Monmouth County
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Jewish addiction group launched in Monmouth County

In an effort to provide culturally sensitive addiction services, Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) of Monmouth County recently launched an outpatient treatment program geared toward the Jewish community.

The program launched in January through a $50,000 seed grant from the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey and is being run out of JFCS’ Morganville office.

“We have an addiction problem in the Jewish community, but because of shame and denial people aren’t seeking help,” said JFCS executive director Paul Freedman, adding the agency has been running a state-accredited outpatient treatment for addiction for the past eight years in its Asbury Park offices. The new Jewish Center for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Education is a full-service clinical outpatient treatment program that uses a “mind-body” approach in a setting that is sensitive to the needs of the Jewish community, although it is open to all faiths, according to Hilary Krosney-Rediker, JFCS addiction outreach coordinator.

Clients undergo a clinical assessment using a battery of psychological tests and substance abuse screenings to create an individualized treatment plan, she said. Treatment includes group and individual counseling, lasting from one to nine hours weekly depending on the treatment plan.

Krosney-Rediker said the treatment plans use a holistic approach to wellness and offers services that include acupuncture, yoga, and reiki. The program accepts insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare.

“Spirituality is a core component of most recovery programs, as it is for ours,” she said. “A person in recovery needs a set of beliefs to guide them as they navigate the challenges of the road ahead. For many whom we hope to serve in our new program, those guiding principles may be their Judaism, although it doesn’t have to be.”

Krosney-Rediker said if she’s treating someone who is observant, “I will turn to Hashem as God, which is a language they will understand.”

In group sessions where there will be various levels of observance “we are all here to respect one another. This is a place where Jews come together with different perspectives on Judaism.”

She noted that Jews have often found themselves isolated in the recovery community since most 12-Step meetings are held in churches, making an already daunting experience even more uncomfortable.

“We’re hoping to offer an alternative haven,” she said, “for Jews in the community who would like some place more familiar and comfortable to receive treatment and begin their journey of recovery.”

Middlesex Jewish Family Services hosts JRecovery, a weekly substance abuse support group that it has run since 2014.

For more information about the Monmouth group, call 732-556-4050; for the Middlesex group, call 732-777-1940.  DEBRA RUBIN

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