Victory Bay Recovery Center created by AJ Solomon and Brent Reese to provide the highest quality of care for those addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. In this video, NJTV News shares the story of AJ Solomon. Victory Bay’s addiction recovery center co-founder is a former staff member of the Office of Constituent Relations for the Office of the Governor of New Jersey. The video highlights the opening of the center and former governor Chris Christie’s thoughts and support for it:
Or read the transcription here:
“Governor Christie with AJ Solomon, cutting the ribbon on Solomon’s Victory Bay Recovery Center in Camden County. Solomon was a Governor Christie Advance Team staffer battling an alcohol and heroin addiction. The governor gave a moving introduction of him in his January State of the State and said Solomon was the architect of his plan to attack addiction.
Chris Christie: ‘He told me he would travel to North Camden on his way to the state capitol, to work for me, to buy his heroin for the day.’
Today, on the first day New Jersey doctors may only prescribe a five-day supply of opiates, the governor stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Solomon in the opening of Victory Bay.
Chris Christie: ‘AJ is an instrument of God. All the people that he and his partners hired to work here are going to be, at their best moments, instruments of God who have been sent to this place to make miracles happen for the people who will walk in suffering. There is nothing plainer to me, after 22 years of being involved in this issue than that.’
AJ Solomon: ‘If I live with resentment and fear, if I’m not helping others and giving of myself, I’ll likely get miserable. And if I get miserable, I’ll likely drink. And if I drink, I’ll likely do heroin. And if I do heroin, I will likely die.’
Solomon is the son of State Supreme Court Justice Lee Solomon.
Lee Solomon: ‘I’ve never been more proud of anything or anybody in my life than I am of AJ right now.’
Solomon’s mother is a commissioner on the State Board of Public Utilities. Some advice for other parents, after witnessing her son’s dabbling an alcohol, and then his father’s oxycodone, and then years of treatment:
Dianne Solomon: ‘If they want treatment, support them in their sobriety and helping them to receive treatment. Don’t enable them, but be there when they want get clean and support them in those efforts, because that’s the only way that they’re going to make it through.’
The road to sobriety for AJ had many pitfalls, but he says there’s one thing that stands out that made a major difference:
AJ Solomon: ‘They gave up control. They said to the treatment center, ‘What do we do?’ The treatment center said, ‘Tell them you’re not going to house him, you’re not going to help him unless he’s in treatment unless he’s sober.’ So they said, ‘Look you’re either in treatment getting sober or you’re homeless,’ and that’s hard for a parent to do. My dad, sitting on drug court, you know or criminal court, in Camden watching kids come up, leave the court, dying, and he has to say that to his son? Like, people are going to think I’m strong or whatever – I was sick. I had to get better. I think my parents in this story are as much of a hero as anybody who recovers.’
AJ Solomon says he’ll put some hard life lessons into the addiction recovery center Victory Bay’s three- to six-month treatment options in Laurel Springs.
Michael Hill, NJTV news