Construction on a new, $16 million drug treatment center in Mays Landing will begin in the coming month.
A groundbreaking for the John Brooks Recovery Center in Mays Landing will be held either later this month or early December, said Michael Santillo, executive director of operations for the Brooks center.
John Brooks offers long-term residential and outpatient addiction services with case management, counseling and medication-assisted treatment at four locations in Pleasantville and Atlantic City.
The 120-bed, 58,000-square-foot facility, to be built in the Hamilton Business Park, will admit short-term and long-term residents.
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Two John Brooks programs run in buildings on Tennessee and Pacific avenues in Atlantic City will be moving out of the Tourism District once the new center opens in 2019. Housed in buildings over 100 years old, Santillo said the Atlantic City locations are too outdated to continue serving patients. Those buildings will be sold to fund the new center.
“It’s been a long time coming. ... We want to get out of those old buildings,” said Santillo after he gave Sen. Robert Menendez a tour of the Pleasantville facility Friday.
The senator, who faces re-election Tuesday in a race against Republican challenger Bob Hugin, stopped by the recovery center Friday to speak about legislation he co-authored to combat the opioid epidemic as well as protecting the Affordable Care Act.
He said New Jersey will likely surpass 3,000 opioid deaths in 2018. Last year in Atlantic County alone, there were 168 overdoses.
“If we’re serious about beating opioid addiction, we must be serious about protecting access to affordable coverage,” Menendez said.
The Affordable Care Act, Santillo said, is important in getting care for low-income patients at the center.
He estimates at least 75 percent of those in recovery are on Medicaid.
“Those clients who have nowhere else to turn, we’re here for them,” Santillo said. “A lot of those folks didn’t have access to treatment before the Affordable Care Act.”
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John Curtis Jr., 24, of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
3/26/1988 - 7/23/2012
Corey Besack, 30, of Exton, Pennsylvania
Chad L. Harper, 38, of Galloway Township and Orlando, Florida. Pictured with his daughter, Gabrielle.
02/03/79 – 10/20/17
"Chad was a charismatic person, he lived and loved life. Chad grew up in New Jersey and was working at the House of Blues in Disney Springs Florida at the time of his death. Chad loved his family, especially his daughter Gabrielle.
"We will forever miss him, our hearts are broken." -Laurie Johns-Devito, his mother
"My child may have died; but my love - and my motherhood - never will." -C.S. Lewis
David E. Hinkley Jr., 52, of Somers Point, formerly of Delaware
Feb. 12, 1965 - Oct. 19, 2017
Hinkley was born in Atlantic City and also lived in Brigantine and Absecon. He lived in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for 10 years.
Frankie Vitagliano Jr., 38, of Brigantine
Born on January 10, 1989 and died from a heroin overdose on December 11, 2017.
"He left behind a son, a fiancée and a family who will miss him forever. Forever in our hearts!" -Michelle, his mother
Gregory DiAntonio, 32, of Wildwood
9/22/1980 to 12/30/2012
"Miss you every day ❤️" -Kreni DiAntonio, his mother
Matt Guzman, 23, of Buena
April 21, 1993 - August 27, 2016
"Matt was more than drugs. He gave so much and asked for so little. Get then help before it's too late. I love my son forever and enough is enough." -Linda Rivera, his mother
Jeffrey Fitzgerald Giannini, 30, of Ventnor
Died of a heroin overdose in Atlantic City on June 1, 2018.
“Jeffrey was an avid fisherman, novice chef, and world traveler…” -Ramona Giannini, his mother
Joshua Zeuner, 30, of Galloway Township
February 12, 1988 - July 7, 2018
"One Life Who Made an Impact on Every Life He Touched. Loved and Never Forgotten." -Candace Mazza, his fiance
Kevin J. McCarthy, 27, of Vineland
July 3, 1990 - Sept. 28, 2017
"Loving father, son, brother, uncle, fiancé, and friend. His wings were ready, but our hearts were not. Forever in our hearts."
Tommy McLaughlin, 39, of Egg Harbor Township
Died June 2, 2018, from a drug overdose after a long battle with addiction.
"Tommy will not be defined by his addiction, but by his caring and quiet demeanor."
Sean Hartley, 33, of Somers Point
Born Dec. 26, 1981. Hartley passed away of a heroin overdose on March 15, 2015.
“Hopefully everyone with an addiction sees the pictures of our loved ones that are gone, will seek out the help that they need to overcome their addiction. I miss my son everyday, he will forever be in my heart.” -Patti Nugent, his mother.
Christine Williams, 37, of Absecon
1/19/1979 - 4/16/2016
"A beautiful soul."
“RIP I miss you my Aquarius angel ❤ lucky 33/37.” -Jennifer McGaffney, friend
Steven James Schmincke, 26, of Mays Landing
7-4-89 / 3-26-16
"Addiction cannot define Steven's life. He was a good hearted son, brother, father and fiancé. There was so much more to you. We miss and love you Steven." -Bill and Tammy Schmincke, his parents
Katelyn Marie Elwell, 18, of Mays Landing
“She was a loving friend to everyone she met and had an infectious laugh.” -Susan Elwell, her mother
Ashley Gitto, 25, of the Lower Bank section of Washington Township.
“We will love you and miss you FOREVER 💔” -Matt, Kathy & Courtney Gitto
Andy Dietrich, 37, of Margate
“Loved life and playing volleyball on the beach with his brothers.”
Michael Firrincilli, 37, of Galloway Township
Died from a heroin overdose on Sept. 28, 2015. He left behind his two daughters, 4 and 19, his long-time girlfriend and his family. He is missed every single day.
“While he wasn’t able to save himself from addiction he did save 5 lives from organ donation and that helped us through his loss because he was the type to give you the shirt off his back and feed whoever needed to eat. He had the biggest heart.”
Raven Kunze, 30, of Toms River
Kunze passed away from an accidental overdose on May 2, 2015.
Melissa A. Endicott, 31, of Absecon
01/14/1986 — 07/02/2017
“She was full of life, ambitious, and had the biggest heart. My sister was more than her addiction and I always want her to be remembered for the beautiful soul she was. Rest peacefully my guardian angel.” -Amanda Endicott, her sister
Samantha Jo Bender, 23, of Gibbstown
Died April 27, 2006
She had a 4-year-old daughter.
Jenny Renee Turner, 32, of Woodbury
8/7/74 - 7/31/07
Turner she passed on July 21, 2007 in Camden after being sober for almost 3 years and left behind a son.
"Not a day goes by we do not miss her and the wonderful caring person she was. I love you Jenny." -Desiree Turner, her sister
Paul (Randy) Lacey, 53, of Egg Harbor Township
“He battled with his addiction to heroin for 10 years. Before that, my father was clean and sober from all mind altering substances for 25 years. He was in a car accident and prescribed pills, which lead to shooting heroin. He left behind his wife of 35 years, his daughter and two grandchildren. Fly high daddy fly high! I hope I make you proud!” -Brandy Henkes, his daughter