Community Foundation of New Jersey

Fundholder Helps Young New Jerseyans Fight Substance Abuse

December 28, 2016

For Gail O’Brien, a fundholder at the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the fight against substance abuse is top of mind at morning, noon, and night.

As the founder of the Parents Coalition for Substance Abuse Awareness (PCSAA) and a member of The Adam O’Brien Recovery Foundation, Gail has raised funds and provided support for countless young adults in New Jersey seeking detox, treatment, and sober living homes. Through PCSSA she has also sponsored Narcan training classes and educational forums.

“Our group is growing daily,” she explains. “Which also means that the number of calls we are receiving has tripled in the past two and a half years.”

In just two weeks, PCSAA was able to place 29 individuals without insurance into detox and treatment. The average waiting period for a state-funded bed is two to six weeks.

Given her knowledge in the area of opiates and the opiate crisis afflicting New Jersey, Gail has joined with fellow PCSAA members – including parents, siblings, people in recovery, law enforcement, and concerned citizens – to provide information to New Jersey’s legislators, as well as each of the state’s treatment centers (including state-funded and private insurance centers).

The Camden Vicinage Drug Court System recently honored Gail for her work in funding half-way houses for those that have taken drug court rather than be incarcerated.

All of this important work is supported by Gail’s donor advised fund, to which she not only donates, but also accepts matching gifts.