WEST LONG BRANCH: On the second Sunday of each month, the Monmouth County Chapter of GRASP (Grief and Recovery After a Substance Passing) meets at CentraState Medical Center on 901 Main Street (Conf. Rm B) in Freehold, just west of NJ Route 9.
The New Jersey chapter of the national organization and was formed by Abby Boxman of Colts Neck, a mother who lost her 21-year old son to heroin. GRASP was created for individuals, families and close others, to share their grief in all forms, “without the stigma that follows” the loss of loved ones to drugs, notably the new and extremely addictive heroin that now plagues our area and the country.
“It is vital to our community the support and services that GRASP offers,” Mrs. Boxman told the audience at the recent all-day conference at Monmouth University. “Having experienced this unfortunate tragedy, healthy communication before, during and after, eases the burden. Through talking and listening to one anther we aid ourselves and others who must take this journey of survival.”
Her son Justin was an active high schooler and football lover who had planned college and a football scholarship since a young boy in his early school days. In high school Justin’s interests began to change, his aspirations faded each day and along with his focus on college and football.
Mrs. Boxman recalled Justin’s changes for the 300 attendees at the conference. She sees now, clearer in retrospect, the reasons for her son’s backing away from his earlier dreams and goals.
Heroin. The latest and purist on the streets of the country. A rapidly addicting substance.
In July of 2011 he died from it. He became another victim of the scourge that captures so many young today.
The Monmouth U. conference consisted of speakers that included: Chris Gramiccioni, Monmouth County Prosecutor; Lynn Kovich, NJ Div. Mental Health (NJDMHAS); Ramon Solhkhah, Meridian Health – Psychiatry; Susan Neshin, MD, JSAS Healthcare, Inc.
Also attending: NJ Cocaine Anonymous, www.nj-ca.org; Monmouth County Ofc. Of Addiction Services, www.monmouthhumanservces.org; Hotline 800-238-2333 and www.njdrghotline.org; Addiction Forum, www.atforum.com; Narcotics Anonymous, Helpline 800.922.0401 and www.nanj.org; Carrier Clinic, www.carrierclinic.org 800-933-3579; Counseling Center, Freehold, 732-431-5300.