“Morris County Aftercare Center is, by far and without a doubt, the best organization I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.”
– Joe A. (MCAC Client)
Morris County Aftercare Center is, by far and without a doubt, the best organization I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. If it were up to me, I would canonize Executive Director Lorna Tangara and her staff. I found the “balance” my life needed at MC Aftercare. Before I became a client, my life was one of extremes. Like a yo-yo, I either did exceedingly well or exceedingly bad. From being a-happy-go-lucky-child to being physically abused by my father and sexually abused by my neighbor, I took matters in my own hands as a teen and started using drugs to self-medicate. Still, I continued to work and, in 1985, I was fortunate enough to serve President Ronald Reagan at a Republican fundraiser and, later that year, I also served all 50 governors during the Annual Governors Convention. But I was high the entire time. Even though I was on drugs, I struggled the entire time and advanced my career, transferring to New York City. Unfortunately, the yo-yo that was my life snapped all the way back when I lost control of my drug habit and ended up selling drugs on 9th Avenue in Manhattan and living in a different rat-infested hotel every night. I ended up spending 12 years in prison but got my life together, and went to Marist College, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelors of Arts degree. Unfortunately, several years later I endured a serious injury. I was prescribed opioid pain relievers and I managed successfully for about 7 years, but then they stopped working and my yo-yo life spun out of control again when I made the fatefully wrong decision to self-medicate with heroin. By the time I showed up at MC Aftercare, I was an absolute mess. But the Executive Director took me under her angel wings, assigned me an awesome counselor, and worked with me and the doctor to help me obtain a dose of methadone that has kept me stable for the past 3 years. It hasn’t been a straight-line to success; there have been setbacks indeed. But one of MC Aftercare’s greatest assets is that they will work with you and get you the help and support you need. In my case, I needed to see a psychiatrist, and the Executive Director got me an appointment with the psychiatrist that is on staff! More recently, I was hospitalized and the hospital was giving me a hard time about giving me my methadone dose. Fortunately, I was able to reach the Executive director after hours who contacted the Director of Nursing, who contacted the hospital to confirm my dose! The fact that this happened after hours on a Friday night should be ample proof of how much MCAC’s Executive Director and staff care about their patients! Morris County Aftercare will also help you obtain funding if you qualify, or they will work with you or your insurance to help pay for your care. In conclusion, I am so very grateful to the Executive Director, the psychiatrist, my counselor and the nursing staff for the outstanding care they have provided me over the past 3 years. I’ve learned that in order to be truly happy, life must have balance. With Morris County Aftercare’s support, my yo-yo life has stopped swinging from one extreme to the other and I realize that although I am responsible for maintaining balance, Morris County Aftercare is just a phone call away if I need help.
“I am honored to be part of this organization and am excited about where we are going!”
– Steve Shann, LPN
“MCAC – helping from their hearts with love”
– William M.
Not easy but finally I had put down all drugs to work on my career. After a full career and then after the 9/11 tragedy, I decided to quit my job and start a business. Meanwhile, I had been
battling my arthritis. After 29 years clean, I started using pain pills…the pills had a different path in mind, unfortunately. So I grabbed the pain medication pills. I had no boundaries as I grabbed anything that could get me relief and then some.
Finally, 4 years ago, at 62, I was Lost. Have you ever felt like you wanted to cry, but couldn’t? Ever felt numb but everything hurts? I felt alone, stuck, totally misunderstood, broke, confused, while being responsible for the care of family members. I couldn’t even take care of myself. With what little common sense I had left, I knew that it was only going to get worse. What little money I had left, I was sure to lose it. I know because I’ve been through it before. I had been off all drugs for 29 years. I can do it again, I told myself.
My addiction story is the same as others. I thought I conquered it but the arthritis in my spine got worse. I needed more and more and then NO more prescriptions allowed. Therefore I got substitutes in a variety of ways that lasted for 18 months (a short time but damaging) before I found The Morris County Aftercare Center in Denville, NJ.
MY FIRST IMPRESSION
First, I called MCAC on a Friday and I came in on Monday. Jeanne who took my shaky call- a loving person, whose voice soothed my soul. She made me feel that “ I “ can do “this”!. She was so warm. It’s not too late for me, I said. I felt the heart in her questions not like someone filling out a clipboard questionnaire.
The real point of what needs to be known here WHY IT WORKS is about a MOST AMAZING person who has wonderful ENERGY – an angel of sorts – Lorna R . Tangara, MPH. She is the
President & Executive Director of this multi-location opioid treatment organization. Being in the presence of Lorna and to understand where her unrelenting commitment comes
from, in part from her courageous brother Elmer Romero, a former Jesuit priest- founder of The MCAC in Denville, NJ, who sadly lost his battle with cancer. His sister Lorna very much shared his vision, continued and set a new pace to transform the ways of the methadone treatment centers in New Jersey. And she’s doing it.
A methadone assisted recovery program, is known as the gold standard of recovery to some. FOR ME —— it took the fear out of the panic of withdrawal and allowed me to focus on
building my coping skills.
BUT THERE IS MORE ; Lorna has created a team of very special professionals / her staff embraces each individual and customizes a schedule for you. And it starts with a doctor’s visit,
intake nurse and meet a counselor who will be available daily for us.
SPINE SURGERY, COVID & PAIN – no worries! At this point I’ll fast forward, I was now clean for a couple of years when I had to have the inevitable spine surgery due to arthritis. I endured the surgery in the midst of a pandemic. It was very painful but it was controlled and it was not so bad. I contracted Covid 19 and that was not fun. While in the hospital and a few complications later, I was finally transferred to a Rehab and then home after 3 months.
IN THE HOSPITAL AND REHAB CENTER
The day after the surgery I had no phones yet when I was recovering and with Covid. Lorna called the hospital late Sunday night (nurse came to my bed with Lorna on the phone )) to make sure I had everything that I needed and that I was ready to go home. She said, we are here for you, Bill. Not to worry. WOW! WHO DOES THAT?? I was relieved.
AFTER REHAB THEN TO HOUSE
THEY (she) CAME TO THE RESCUE
I was not able to make it to MCAC to get my medication (no driving) but Lorna made sure all my medications were handled and available to me. She set ME up a helpful temporary pain
management program. Lorna had a special courier transport my medication to last me for about 4 weeks, to my house an hour away at 6am because I was not able to come to MCAC until I was able to drive. She wanted to make sure I was safe. WHO DOES THAT?
– it’s a culture of hope and of a helping hand. I am back to my regular routine at MCAC. MCAC provides a healthy and caring environment.
I felt cared for, safe and less anxious about my surgery convalescence. Today, after 4 months, I’ve had setbacks but doing ok.
Unfortunately I’m looking at a couple more surgeries. I will work on physical therapy and know that Lorna, Jeanne, Nancy, Matt, Betsy, Karen, and Steve are available – helping from their hearts with love.
“Make the choice to save your own life.”
-M.S. (MCAC Client)
Hello, my name is M.S. and I am a professor at a local college and a large state university. I have Bachelor of Arts degrees with High Honors in English and Political Science from a large state university. I have a Master of Arts degree in Literature from a more prestigious private university where I am “All But Dissertation” (basically I have to finish my dissertation) on a Ph.D. If you were to look at my life, on paper, and you were asked to put in it one of two piles — the “addict” pile, or the “normal” pile — you, probably without a second thought, would put it right in to the “normal” pile….and you would be wrong.I have spent ten years abusing opiates: the first 6 using pills and the last 4 using exclusively heroin.
Most of us have stereotypes about what an addict looks like, and therefore, most of us have an image of whom we might expect to find at a methadone clinic. Consequently, we have an image of the clinic itself — we think. But as you just saw, there stereotypes are often based on misunderstandings.
The only time in the last ten years that I have been able to stop abusing opiates has been for the past 7 months, since I became a client of Morris County Aftercare Center. This place has done nothing less than save my life.
So many of us resist entering treatment for our addictions because we are absolutely terrified of the prospect of having to endure a prolonged period of debilitatingly painful physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that we call being “dopesick”. We fear that the people who would be our treatment providers, at best, will not appreciate or care about the horror and pain of our opiate withdrawal symptoms. At worst, we fear that they will actively try to make us suffer in order to “teach us a lesson.”
But when you work in a program like that offered at MCAC, which uses methadone to assuage the debilitating effects of the withdrawal symptoms that are the inevitable result of the abuse of heroin and other opiates, you can begin to rebuild your life. In my experience, since I began treatment I have not felt even minor discomfort as the result of MY DECISION to stop abusing opiates.
The single most important thing to keep in mind about treatment at Morris County Aftercare Clinic, is that their treatment approach, crucially, consists of a combination of medication-assisted treatment and personal, one-on-one, psychological counseling. Basically, they will help you feel normal again, so that you can start to address the things that are tearing your life apart and that will end your life if you choose to ignore them.
At MCAC they understand that you are going to struggle with this, that there will be bumps on the road to recovery. The most important thing, to me about my treatment here, is that the staff finds a way to use your slip ups to help you and to make you conscious of the reasons why they happen. Essentially they tailor the program to fit you.
I have ALWAYS felt completely safe both inside and outside of MCAC clinic. The facility is clean, modern, well lit, and no one is allowed to loiter inside of the clinic or in the parking lot areas.
I hope that you will choose to make a positive change for yourself today. As addicts, we come from all walks of life and each of our stories is unique. If your addiction has gotten to the point that your life has become unbearable, your relationships with friends and family are strained or non-existent, or you are in legal or financial trouble as the direct or indirect result of your addiction, make the choice to save your own life. No one can do it but you