Her son, as a teen, started smoking marijuana, which motivated Regan to take him out of public school and enroll him in a private Catholic high school, hoping to get him away from a bad element. In high school, however, her son soon graduated to abusing prescription pain medications. And even though he eventually won a full scholarship to college, he continued his downward slide into addiction, stealing jewelry and other things from family members to pay for his habit. That resulted in numerous rehab stays and admissions to various treatment programs – all failing to change her son’s behavior, Regan said. Ultimately, her son almost died in a rundown Los Angeles motel, with a needle dangling in his arm. “Addiction follows you wherever you go. It destroys you,” she said.Looking back, she has come to realize “love is blind,” and you may not see the symptoms right in front of you. She recommended looking through your child’s clothes. If you find things like small pieces of aluminum foil, little plastic bags, or hollowed-out ballpoint pens (used to snort drugs), these are telltale signs, as are weight loss, a loss of interest in things that had been a passion, and sullenness.“If you’re not aware of the signs, it can happen to you,” she warned.Her son, Daniel, who is now 26, eventually turned his life around through a program he completed in California – a program covered by the family’s “platinum” health insurance plan, which would now cost $135,000 a month, Regan said. He has been clean and sober for six-and-a-half years, she said.She has started a program, Coming Full Circle: Loud N Clear Foundation, working with families on prevention, intervention and recovery. She has worked with 7,500 families through CFC Loud N Clear. “My mission was always to help parents to avoid the pitfalls I fell in,” she said. And that involved some tough love: drug testing your children if you suspect illegal use. And maybe more importantly, talking with your children, she recommended. “The best place to have a conversation with your kids,” she advised, “is in the car. They’re trapped.”Lagrotteria is a 10-year veteran with the department, grew up in Rumson and serves as the department’s juvenile officer. He established the program with fellow Patrolman Dwayne Reevey and hopes to encourage residents to help pass along the information. Lagrotteria said he would be willing to offer the presentation for schools or community groups. By John Burton |FAIR HAVEN – Put aside those notions of the Rumson-Fair Haven “bubble,” says Fair Haven Police Patrolman William Lagrotteria.The truth of the matter is opioid and other substance abuse does happen here on the peninsula. “It affects us as well,” he said.Lagrotteria took this lesson and other information to residents in a program he presented at Knollwood School, 224 Hance Road, last Thursday evening (July 27).Before an audience of approximately 15 in the borough’s middle school, Lagrotteria laid out what statistics indicate and what his professional experience with the department has shown him of how this epidemic is infecting this affluent suburban area.In his professional experience, “It’s coming from kids going into medicine cabinets,” getting ahold of prescription pain medications they and family members have received from doctors, using them for what they thought would be recreational use and getting hooked, he said, “leading down that rabbit hole to heroin addiction.”The three major drug groups youths would likely abuse, Lagrotteria explained, are depressants, stimulants (which would include anxiety, seizure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medications) and barbiturates.The easy availability of these drugs has led to “rainbow parties,” which are, Lagrotteria told the gathering, parties kids have where pills of every variety and color are thrown in bowl and taken indiscriminately by the party-goers. He personally knows of police breaking up two such parties in Rumson in the last year.ADHD drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, already widely prescribed for adolescents, are being sold to other youths. For those who don’t have the medical condition, these drugs give users heightened focus and attention, and are used by some to concentrate on grades and college applications. “They’re showing the same effect as someone who is taking crystal meth or cocaine,” Lagrotteria said. These drugs, he added, are now used by some girls as appetite suppressants, as a substitute for forced vomiting and other tactics for eating disorders.Kids are selling the drugs for upwards of $20 per pill. “It’s incredible the amount being passed off in the high school,” he said.Lynn Regan, who now runs a substance abuse recovery program, relates her experiences deal-ing with her son’s addiction and working with other families facing similar situations.Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in Rumson is a sports-oriented school, said Lagrotteria, who coaches varsity football there. He pointed out that many students play multiple team sports during the year. “They’re so active,” he said of the kids, “they’re eventually getting injured,” which can lead to pain medication prescriptions.“I can’t begin to tell you how powerful these drugs are,” he said, pointing to the commonly prescribed Percocet or Oxycodone, which he said some kids will snort as well as swallow. Three out of four of those with heroin addiction admit to starting by using a pain medication, Lagrotteria noted. And when it comes to heroin, “Guess what?” Lagrotteria asked, “It’s very easy to get.”Lagrotteria was not alone in voicing the stark realities. He was joined by Lynn Regan, originally from the borough who now lives in Howell and runs an addiction recovery program, adapting hard-learned lessons to treat her clients.Regan knows the suffering of addiction or having a loved one go through it.“Unfortunately, we all know someone who went through this,” she said, telling the experiences she had with her son, Daniel. “You don’t want to be part of this club,” she said. This article was first published in the August 3 – 10, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
ARCADIA, Calif. (June 4, 2015)–Idle since running fourth at 3-1 in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, Pamela and Martin Wygod’s homebred Prospect Park heads a talented field of five 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita.Trained by Clifford Sise, Prospect Park was a dazzling 5 ¼ length allowance winner at a flat mile three starts back on Jan. 30 and was subsequently second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by eventual Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund in the prestigious Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 7.Although he had accumulated a sufficient amount of qualifying points, Sise withdrew Prospect Park from Kentucky Derby consideration shortly after the Santa Anita Derby, citing a fever and an irregular blood count. A Kentucky-bred colt by Tapit out of the Bertrando mare Quiet Romance, Prospect Park was returned to his base at San Luis Rey Downs, where he has had five recorded works. Shipped to Santa Anita last week, Prospect Park drilled five furlongs here in 1:01.60 on May 31.“It was a little slow,” said Sise this past Sunday. “But he came home the last three eighths in 36. He had some kind of viral thing going on in the Santa Anita Derby. Two days later, he popped a temperature…This will be a good starting point back. He’s doing great, fantastic.”With an overall mark of 7-2-2-1, Prospect Park has earnings of $216,570.Trainer Dan Hendricks’ Om, who has the distinction of handing American Pharoah his only loss, a 9 ¼ length maiden drubbing last August at Del Mar, comes off a dominating 2 ¼ allowance win on turf May 10 and may merit second billing in the Affirmed.In explaining the return to the main track this Sunday, Hendricks said “We thought he would be a good grass horse, and he might be, but this time of the year I wanted to try the dirt and either get another option for him, or go back to the turf if he doesn’t like it…It’s a good time to try him, before Del Mar.”Owned by the Sareen Family Trust, Om, a Kentucky-bred colt by Munnings, will try a route of ground on dirt for the first time. With two wins from four starts, he has earnings of $82,500.California-bred Gimme Da Lute, who ran a disappointing third as the 9-5 favorite in Pimlico’s six furlong Chick Lang Stakes May 16, returns to his home base where he annihilated eight state-bred rivals in the 6 ½ furlong Echo Eddie Stakes three starts back on April 4.Owned by his breeders, Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the bay colt by Midnight Lute was third, beaten six lengths, two races back in the Grade III, Pat Day Mile on May 2 at Churchill Downs. With two sprint wins at Santa Anita, Gimme Da Lute could be winging up front along with speedy Om. Gimme Da Lute is 5-2-1-2 overall with earnings of $187,560.A bona fide router, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is well represented by Cyrus Alexander, who comes off a 2 ½ length allowance win at a flat mile April 16 and is a neck away from being unbeaten in his last three starts. Owned by Spendthrift Farm, LLC and Stonestreet Farm, the Kentucky-bred colt by Medaglia d’Oro will be ridden back by Rafael Bejarano. “Cy” has a win and a second at the Affirmed distance and with an overall mark of 7-2-3-2, he has earnings of $115,840.Hollendorfer will also be represented by Cross the Line, who was a well beaten fifth in the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles Illinois Derby April 18. A Kentucky-bred colt by Line of David, Cross the Line is winless since taking the 1 1/16 miles California Derby four starts back on Jan. 17 at Golden Gate Fields and will hope to get a stalking trip in the Affirmed. Owned by Red Cap Thoroughbreds, LLC, Michael Sigband, George Todaro and partners, Cross the Line is 7-2-2-1 with earnings of $155,920.With all horses assigned 118 pounds, here is the complete field for the Grade III Affirmed Stakes, to be run Sunday as the third race on a nine-race card, with jockeys in post position order: Gimme Da Lute, Martin Garcia; Cyrus Alexander, Rafael Bejarano; Cross the Line, Corey Nakatani; Om, Fernando Perez, and Prospect Park, Kent Desormeaux. First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. –30–