MAHWAH, N.J. – Mahwah residents impacted by addiction now have an advocate to rely on.
The Mahwah Municipal Alliance (MMA) has appointed Dana Romano, a licensed social worker and licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor, as community liaison.
In her new role, Romano, of Oakland, will “give residents a place to turn when they feel like they have nobody to speak with about the serious impact addiction and substance abuse has on their lives,” said Carolyn Blake, president of the MMA.
“When you are stuck in the middle of the nightmare of addiction, you don’t always know where to go,” said Victoria Shaw, a MMA board member who helped secure a federal grant to fund Romano’s position.
People often ask themselves questions such as, “How do I get help? How do I start? What is the first thing I should do?” Shaw said.
Mahwah residents can call Romano on her cell phone at 551-500-4652, and she will be able to assist those in crisis and those seeking guidance on substance abuse issues by referring them to appropriate services and explaining issues related to insurance coverage, according to the MMA.
Communications with Romano are strictly confidential and there is no fee to residents for her services.
“The community of Mahwah has felt the devastation caused by the heroin epidemic in New Jersey and across the country,” said Mahwah Police Chief James N. Batelli. “The problem is not going to be solved by arrests alone. We need to provide residents with the education resources to both identify and combat the problem and Ms. Romano will provide this vital link.”