The High Point Blog


Today we took some time to celebrate our heroes. Some of us dressed as comic book heroes and some of us dressed as real life heroes. Most importantly, we were able to recognize those who we believe are our heroes! Whether it be our favorite comic book hero, our favorite movie hero, our childhood friend, our parent(s), a neighbor, or even a sibling…we all have one (or two, or three)! 

Picture 1: In front, left to right: Rachel and Sarah. In back, left to right: Gifty, Taylor, Victoria, Rebecca, Hayley, Carina, and Nicole!

Picture 2 from left to right: Gifty wore scrubs to represent our real life front line medical heroes, Taylor wore her Avengers shirt, Victoria wore her black panther shirt, Hayley wore her cloud ninja shirt, Carina wore an American flag shirt for our military soldiers, Rebecca wore a sweatshirt representing the local fire company, Rachel dressed as the Flash (of course!), Nicole wore her superman shirt (with a matching cape), and Sarah wore an all encompassing MARVEL shirt for all super heroes!!!!!




Next Up: Furry Friends Friday 4/9/21


Today we talked about how we are staying active and luckily it looks like the weather started to cooperate with us! Some of us go for a walk, run, enjoy the nature trails, stretch, preform splits, do pull ups, spend time by the chimnea, do yoga, cook healthy foods, dance, physical therapy, Zumba, go to the gym, ride bikes… and the list goes on!

Even staff fit in some time to practice wellness by doing some yoga in the cafeteria today! Check it out!

Tomorrow is Thankful Thursday. Can’t wait to see what’s in store!


Today we got to talk about a lot of delicious foods like cheesecake, lemon pie, pudding cake, ramen, sardines, chick peas, potato chips, omelets, yogurt with banana slices, sunflower seeds, PB&J Sandwiches, PIZZA, CHOCOLATE ice cream, lobsters, chicken salad, blueberry muffins, carrot cakes, lasagna, ziti, steak, crab meat, mashed potatoes, salmon, apple pie, rice cakes, meat, veggie lo mien, and many more!

Above you can check out some of our own creations, hot out of the oven! 🙂


Pic 1: From left to right: Carina, Gifty, Hayley, Rebecca, Victoria, Anna, Taylor, Nicole, Rachel.

Pic 2: From left to right: Carina, Sarah N., Gifty, Hayley, Rebecca, Victoria, Taylor, Nicole, Rachel.

All with our masks on, keepin’ it safe! 🙂

Next up: Wellness Wednesday on 4/7/21


Some of our clients’ favorite bands/artists are: Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, Phantom of the Opera, Perry Cuomo, Disturbed, Elton John, Post Malone, Maul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Stevie Nicks, The Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osbourne, Jennifer Lopez, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Jennifer Lopez, Kenny Rogers, Rod Stewart, Duran Duran, Aerosmith, Janice Joplin, Leonard Skynard, The Allman Brothers, Etta James, Muddy Waters, and so many more! They also love writing/singing/playing original music too!


Mental Health CMs in their Musical Monday outfits!!

From left to right: Hayley, Rebecca, Victoria, Taylor, Nicole, Carina


Up Next: Tasty Tuesday 4/6/2021




High Point Program is pleased to announce our expansion of services to accommodate the continued needs of our substance abuse & co-occurring clientele. In addition to our current day programming, we will be launching an evening substance abuse & co-occurring program to supplement our treatment services. The evening program will accommodate both Intensive Outpatient [IOP] and Outpatient [OP] levels of care.

Our evening programming and services will begin on Monday, October 5, 2020, and will operate on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights between the hours of 5:30pm to 8:45pm. During this time, we will offer two 90-minute groups sessions, individual sessions, and random UDS testing. We will also be accommodating medication monitoring and other psychiatric needs within our existing day hours. Clients attending the Evening Program will be responsible for their own transportation.

We recognize the growing need for evening substance abuse treatment services in our surrounding community, and have designed a high-quality program to accommodate those clients who are looking to continue working towards their recovery , while balancing their existing responsibilities and schedules. We understand the many barriers that may create a limited ability to attend day programming, such as:

  • Those who are currently employed and/or furthering their education but require ongoing support to maintain their recovery.
  • Those with childcare or other familial responsibilities that interfere with day programming.
  • Those who have been stable in their recovery, had successfully completed a treatment program but may have had a lapse/relapse which immediately  puts them at a higher risk for a downward spiral, but wish  to stabilize their recovery and avoid further relapse.
  • Those who have graduated their current day programming and are looking for transitional and step-down supports to continue therapeutic supports needed in early recovery.

Our Evening Program will offer the clinical support, education, and structure to further promote long-term recovery through preventing or halting a relapse, increasing insight into triggers and stressors, and developing/furthering a tool box of coping skills and interventions.

Essential to recovery is the development of a new healthy lifestyle that includes but is not limited to rebuilding/repairing relationships, increasing accountability, making informed decisions, strengthening and healing of the family, building a sober support network, and obtaining or maintaining employment. High Point will be adding a family component in the near future to the evening program to provide the opportunity to further assist clients and their families in their recovery processes, as “Addiction is a Family Disease”.

High Point’s multi- interdisciplinary team recognizes the ongoing and ever-changing needs of our clientele across the road to recovery. We seek to support our clients at all points of their recovery with the addition of our Evening Program.


Anna Vitale, MPS, LCADC – Director


Christopher Lombardi, MSW, LCSW, LCADC – Clinical Director


After a three-month interruption of on-site client care due to the coronavirus, High Point very much looks forward to reacclimating clients back into our community. The initial phase of reentry, to begin on July 6, will be carefully structured to support quality care of our substance use clients, offering PC, IOP and outpatient clinical services. Our program is strategically designed to accommodate our clients’ needs, both on-site as well as with tele-health supports, as necessary. Clinical services will encompass individual, group and continued psychiatric and medication monitoring supports. High Point remains committed to client and staff well-being, with cautionary standards intact to help reintegrate our clients back into the High Point community.

At this time, High Point Partial Care Mental Health clientele will continue receiving daily case management, wellness checks psychiatric monitoring to promote their mental health stabilization. These case management tele-health contacts help tremendously towards managing clients’ treatment need as well as provide direct guidance to assiste them with posting coping mechanisms during this challenging time.

For the returning clients, High Point will resume providing transportation assistance to clients in need. High Point is abiding by CDC guidelines and New Jersey State/Governor’s mandates, which include but are not limited to the use of masks, practicing six-feet social distancing, and maintaining daily sanitary and disinfection standards throughout the day.

Anytime a client or visitor enters the High Point building, a Covid-19 questionnaire and temperature check will be required. Additionally, staff and clients are undergoing Covid-19 testing to ensure negative results to ensure safe transition back to program.  Any staff or clients who conveys that they feel ill will be – as under normal circumstances – encouraged to stay home and seek medical guidance. Tele-health services are being maintained in addition to on-site supports to assist with clinical needs, especially given concerns surrounding overall health and wellness.

During these last three months of providing tele-health supports, staff and clients alike have expressed eagerness to promote positive transitioning to the return of on-site programming. The therapeutic and human connections that exist at High Pont is extraordinary component that bring our community together towards effecting change and achieving our clients’ treatment plan goals. High Point will remain vigilant, closely monitoring our clients’ transition back in order to deliver the outstanding care for which we are known.


As of Monday, March 23, High Point Programs will temporarily suspend treatment on its premises. Clients can take comfort knowing that High Point will be providing telecommunications follow-up to support them through this climate and these challenging times. High Point staff are invested in support the clients’ treatment needs remotely during our facility’s temporary closing.

These telecommunications mechanisms are related to mitigation of the coronavirus and are in keeping with precautionary standards to minimize health risks to our clients.

Our clients have been informed of the procedures put in place whereby staff can maintain channels of communication. Clients have provided us with their contact information and are aware they can communication with staff via the main phone number – 908-799-5979 – in urgent cases.

Refer to this website for further updates as things develop.


The following is list of resources and digital meetings for Unity clients for them to turn to while they are unable to attend in-person meetings due to the pandemic.

The first link is for open all-recovery meetings, which means people in or supportive of recovery from any type of behavioral health disorder or quality of life concern are welcome. No matter the program, pathway, or type of recovery you are in, this is a meeting for you. As a reminder, we typically introduce ourselves as “Hello, My name is ____ and I am a person in recovery”, but feel free to identify however is comfortable for you.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance online support groups:


County-specific Resources

Hunterdon County
(908) 788-6400: Hunterdon County Medical Center telephone and in-person crisis services and mobile screening.

Morris County
(973) 625-6063: St. Clare’s Hospital.

(973) 926-7416, 7444: Beth Israel Hotline – Psychiatric Emergency.
Also Mobile Screening for Irvington and parts of Newark but not NJIT.
(973) 623-2323: University Hospital – Hotline and Psychiatric Emergency room.
(973) 972-0480: University Hospital  – Mobile Screening adults.
(973) 972-7354: University Hospital- Mobile Screening children (under 18).

Passaic County
(973) 470-3000: Hotline.
(973) 470-3025: Mobile Screening.
(973) 977-2228: St. Joseph’s (emergency mental health).

Union County
(908) 351-6684: Trinitas Hospital telephone and in-person crisis services (24/7) for Elizabeth and eastern portion of Union County.
(908) 355-5556: Mobile Screening.
(908) 668-2205: Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center – telephone and in-person crisis services.
(908) 668-2599: Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center – mobile screening (all Union County).

Warren County
(908) 454-5141: Crisis Intervention.

Other Resources:

Smart Recovery

Refuge Recovery

Virtual NA

In the Rooms: and online recovery community

Article about non 12 step/AA/NA Fellowships/Groups/Organizations/Communities


Mental Health/Other Support groups:







High Point first and foremost concerns itself with its clients’ mental health and substance use issues, but the facility also places great importance on their overall health. With that in mind, High Point makes smoking cessation a priority and has regular presentations to move clients in that direction.

Smoking disproportionately affects individuals with mental health and/or substance issues. So much so, that it contributes to the early deaths of many thousands of people who were successfully treated for a behavioral health issues.

Choices presenter Azeem Sitabklan (pictured) gave two presentations in mid-February, one each to High Point’s mental health clients and its substance use clients. Both groups heard a host of statistics about the health risks that come with tobacco use. No fewer than 14 types of cancer arise from smoking. Nearly a half million people in the U.S. each year succumb to smoking-related deaths. Many more suffer with debilitating illnesses, bronchitis and emphysema being among the most common.

The presentation covered the many chemicals found in cigarettes – 7,000. Seventy of the chemicals are carcinogens. Azeem informs the clients some of the other uses for these toxins; ammonia is a toilet cleaner, while hexamine is barbecue lighter.  Some clients, having seen the program before, are knowledgeable about the array of harmful substances in cigarettes.

Another factor in smoking is how the chemicals ingested interact with prescribed medications. Smoking can mean that a patient needs a higher level of a medication due to that medicine being removed by the liver fast

er than in non-smokers. Therefore, smokers may need a higher dosage. When quitting or tapering off smoking, the client will need to make the prescriber aware of the change.

The program made clients aware of the many medications to help people ease their way towards quitting. These include nicotine gum, the nicotine patch, Chantix, and nicotine nasal spray. Choices made some of  these items available to the clients

With the recent surge in vaping, clients showed a

n interest in it, and its being less of a health risk than cigarette smoking. If vaping is better than cigarettes, the Choices staff said, it is only marginally so.  The best course by far is to takes steps towards quitting once and for all.

To learn more about High Point’s holistic approach to treating its clients, visit


The toll of opiates on youth over the past decade is staggering – more the half a million overdose deaths. A new documentary, “Fentanyl Factor,” depicts in heartbreaking detail a handful of the young lives swept away by an extremely potent synthetic opiate, Fentanyl, all of whom were from Hunterdon or Somerset counties. Family members showed remarkable strength reliving their loss in interviews in the movie and as members of a panel at a screening of the film January 29 at Raritan Community College.

Each of the stories the movie presents captures the unbearable pain at seeing a young life teeming with promise eliminated by addiction; each shows a young man who falls into drug use and fentanyl delivering the death blow. As several people in the film and on the panel said, “We are not meant to bury our children.” This makes High Point’s treatment for substance use particularly critical. High Point provides medication assisted treatment for opiate addiction, which includes suboxone and vivitrol.

One particularly poignant story came from a mother who appears in the film and also sat on the panel at the college. An overdose left her son comatose and placed on life support. It became clear he would not emerge from the coma. The movie places this woman in a serene setting – a beach with gentle waves lapping the shoreline. She is talking about the day she accepted it was time to take her son off of life support: his birthday.  In the movie, she speaks of his birth and hearing his first heartbeat, and also his last.

The goal of the movie, which will be widely distributed in the coming months is to raise awareness about Fentanyl and its potency (100 times more potent than morphine). A lethal does is the equivalent of a pinch of salt in volume. One of the panel members, a woman who lost her brother to fentanyl, said before his death she knew nothing about it; now it assumes an oversize role as she strives to spare others losing a beloved sibling or child or spouse to overdose.

The panel also featured three officials who have focused a great deal on the issue of drug addiction: State Senator Kip Bateman, Hunterdon Acting Prosecutor Michel Williams and former Hunterdon Prosecutor Anthony Kearns.  Before he stepped down as prosecutor, Kearns convened a town hall in 2019 on the opiate issue and it continues to be an issue he is committed to fighting.  He stressed that has prosecutor he saw the toll on families of all backgrounds, races, creeds; addiction is blind to those aspects of a person’s life.

The three took note of one of the factors that continues to frustrate an appropriate response to addiction – refusal to accept addiction as a disease. This stigma still causes many to continue to view addiction as a weakness.  Watching “Fentanyl Factor” will surely help dispel that misconception.

One young man on the panel, Sean, is committed to banishing that misconception. He said a person’s first use of an opiate may be of his or her choice, but before long, the drug usurps the brain’s capacity for anything approaching rational decision-making. Sean, now more than eight years in recovery, has revived the inner-light addiction had dimmed. Now he “aspires to inspire until he expires,” as he puts it.

Fentanyl had multiplied the loss of life caused by the opiate crisis. The “Fentanyl Factor” offers a lament of the young lives the drug taken by this drug and the shattered families they leave behind. Making it compulsory viewing for students, beginning with middle schoolers, could well preserve thousands of youth. The film illustrates how the youthful sense of invincibility – the “it won’t happen to me” syndrome – does not apply here.

The film was presented by the Safe Communities Coalition of Hunterdon/Somerset.


High Point supports our clients who struggle with mental illness and addiction by guiding them to the path that leads to recovery, fulfillment and independence.

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Flemington, NJ 08822


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