December Coalition Spotlight
Our December Coalition Spotlight is on James Castrucci, a dedicated volunteer for the Stoneham Coalition.
James ("Jimmy") is a life long Stoneham Resident, with his family being a part of the community for the last 60 plus years. Jimmy is the owner and founder of Observatory Sober Living, a 12 step retreat dedicated to teaching the practices and principles of the 12 steps in Haverhill, Ma. He is also a certified family interventionist and co-founder of the Family First support meeting for families that have loved ones affected with SUD in Stoneham.
Jimmy also facilitates the Family Restored Support meeting on Tuesday’s located at the Stoneham Senior Center, where he helps guide families and educate them on the disease of addiction, treatment avenues, boundaries in the home, enabling and the support that is in our communities.
Q: How did you get involved in the coalition?
Jimmy: "I first got involved with the coalition a little over a year ago. I was curious at the time to see what our town was doing to help combat the opioid epidemic and the approach that was being taken and where I might be able to offer any assistance with that. After meeting with Kayla and a few other officials I was asked to help speak at vigils and the schools about the struggles that I have gone thru and the things that I did to move past that."
Q: Why do you volunteer with the Coalition?
Jimmy: I volunteer with the coalition because I feel that it is the right thing to do in a sense that part of the program I work in my life is giving back to help others and coming from such a close knit town, having lost so many friends to this illness, having family and friends still suffer with addiction it would be a shame to sit by and not pass things along to the next person who still may be suffering. I caused a lot of turmoil and damage when I was in active addiction and feel obligated to help make a living amends to try and rectify that to the people who always looked out for since I was a kid.
Q: What have you been most impacted by in your involvement?
Jimmy: The most impactful event I would say for me has been when I was asked to speak at the Stoneham Vigil for those families who have lost loved ones to addiction/alcoholism. Vigils like that always bring up some emotion as I have lost over a dozen or so friends to Overdoses over the past several years. Sharing my experience and battles with someone that may still be suffering is what this is all about for me.