PHOTO: Jim Josselyn and Colton Kayser performed at 2nd Annual New Jersey Celebrates Recovery
ASBURY PARK, NJ – Setting itself apart from the many recovery month celebrations taking place during September, The “2nd Annual New Jersey Celebrates Recovery” event, held an open and honest discussion about the dangers and human rights violations of drug possession arrests and forced treatment. Compulsory treatment has become mainstream in New Jersey due to the changes in the Drug Court Program and drug possession arrests have been expanding according to Randy Thompson of Help Not Handcuffs which organized the event.
Stanton Peele, J.D., Ph.D., an internationally renowned expert on addiction, recovery, drug policy and harm reduction noted the severe flaws in the New Jersey policy, “most people who use drugs stop on their own, even from the most serious addictions” he said. “When you tell people that they need treatment to recover from drug use its not true and it also destroys their motivation to do it on their own” Peele said. Both Thompson and Peele, pointed to the tragic example of Katie Lee Thomas who died in custody only a few hours after being arrested for drug paraphernalia in Neptune Township. Thompson noted that inappropriate/forced treatment could be just as costly of human lives as drug overdose deaths are the 3rd leading cause of death in New Jersey’s publicly funded drug rehabs.
PHOTO: Rev Rowyn Capers
The event, MC’d by Patrick Holbert of New York City, and had a fun and festive atmosphere, which featured several visual artists, performers and musicians, which performed throughout the day. The work of the Visual Artists, David Kofke, Tracey Peel and Kristian Quistgaard will be on display for the next month at the Middletown Arts Center.
photo: Artwork of David Kofke
Performing/Showcasing Art at the Event
Kevin John Allen, Musician
Dave Grieco, Musician
Jim Joselyn, Musician
Colton Keyser, Musician
Patrick Holbert, Comedian
Kristian Quistgaard, Visual Artist
David Kofke, Visual Artist
Tracey Peel, Visual Artist
Ross Bernstein, Comedian and Magician