Assistant Prosecutor shares her opioid addiction struggle

Melissa O'Mara struggle with opioids

Assistant Prosecutor from Burlington Country shares her struggle with addiction!

As reported by 6abc,com, a newly installed Assistant Prosecutor of Burlington County, shares her past struggles with opioids addiction.

Melissa O’Mara from Mount Holly, New Jersey was just sworn in about one year ago. However her journey to successful career was not conventional. O’Mara share her heart breaking story, starting with using heroin at the tender age of just fifteen years old. She does not recall how it all happened. Her battle with anxiety started early on when she was subjected to bullying at school, which inadvertently lead to alcohol, marijuana, and eventually to opioids use.  As a young teen, Melissa went back and forth in to drug rehab centers to get her weaned from drugs and alcohol.

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A life altering moment came to her when she turned 19, when she started seeing more positive glimpses of her future. Her time line recovery process started with detox, then transferred to in-patient, then shifted to halfway house, and ended in sober living. While at the last place, and before moving out to the real world, Melissa was asked what she wanted to do with her life, and that the sky is the limit. She was really moved by the possibilities, and the looming question about her future life. No one ever asked O’Mara this before. This moment gave her a boost to make better choices and decisions.

After making a great commitment and effort, Melissa O’Mara  graduated from College, and then successfully got accepted and then graduated from New England Law School.  After completing her education, she started vigorously applying for jobs, but due to her previous substance abuse issues, she was denied the opportunities. However discouraging this may have been, Melissa did not give up. Until one day she found acceptance, where the prosecutor in charge, Scott Coffina, told her that he wants her to be who she is.  This was a dream come true for Melissa.  In September of 2018 she finally joined judicial system at Burlington County Prosecutors Office. Scott Coffina  noted that O’Mara honors the accountability and the purpose to enforce the law, but he is pleased that she has compassion to people, and it shows in her work and it affects others.

Today, Melissa is working as an assistant prosecutor, and is dealing with different cases, including drug charges.  Her ambition is to provide justice and help. O’Mara finds it gratifying when she is able to give broken and desperate people their next opportunity  to get their life in order.

As reported byburlingtoncountytimes,com, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffin made a proposal to expand opioid recovery program. The program Helping Hand main target are the individuals who were just revived by Narcan or first responders, and make it available to general public. Recovery experts will be available to people who overdose.

The program is funded by federal grant, and the non-profit organization City of Angel, and governed by prosecutor’s office.

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Expanding their services further, Helping Hand now will respond to any call from law endorsement to assist any individual suspected of using drugs or suffering from drug addiction.


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