City of Angels is a non-profit 501.(C)(3) who has been serving our community with all volunteers for almost fifteen years. Our initial work concentrated on the opioid epidemic and the devastating impact it has had and continues to have on our community.
In 2008, COA was created out of necessity after the tragic overdose death of KC Meara, son of founders, Maryann & Kevin Meara. As the opioid epidemic took shape, friends of KC and their parents asked Maryann and Kevin for help. As with most parents facing a child dealing with substance use disorders (addiction), the Mearas had a lot to learn and so they did! Together, with friends and family, City of Angels was formed and incorporated in March 2009 with a Board of Trustees and volunteers.
COA may be a small “mom and pop” non-profit, but our volunteers believe they do big things. In 2009, the State of NJ referred to COA as a community recovery center, an area first. In 2008, COA volunteers were going to Hospital EDs and assisting drug overdose victims to get treatment…another area first. In 2012, COA recognized the importance of peer work and began training classes for volunteers to become recovery coaches. Again, a first in our area. COA has been training longer and trained more recovery coaches then any NJ agency. Today, they are called peer recovery specialists. In 2015 the Police Chief of Gloucester, MA was nationally recognized for his CARE program, but in 2008 COA partnered with local police to assist kids with substance-use problems and in 2012 officially called for standard operating procedures for drug and alcohol arrests. COA, with the assistance of Ofc Scott Kivet, established the first CARE program in Mercer County, NJ. COA has partnered with the NJ Narcotics Officers Association to train law enforcement throughout the state. In May 2014, COA met with the Massachusetts Dept of Health to discuss their groundbreaking work with Narcan and worked locally until November 2014 when Narcan was authorized for Mercer County first responders. In 2017, COA brought ODMAP, an overdose reporting system, to NJ and now it is in every county. In 2022, COA met with DEA Administrator Anne Milgram to discuss the impact of fentanyl on families who have lost sons and daughters.
COA founder, Kevin Meara was invited to President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Cures Act signing at the White House. Kevin presented at both the first White House Opioid Summit and first Department of Justice Opioid Summit. We have worked with each of the Drug Czars of the Obama, Trump and now Biden Administrations. Kevin & Maryann Meara helped introduce NJ Governor Chris Christie’s ReachNJ program and was host for a White House Office of National Drug Control Policy learning session in NJ. A recipient of the 2018 NJ State Governors -Jefferson Awards for Public Service, COA continues to be recognized for their work both locally and nationally.
COA believes that Wellness is the next step, after treatment and has introduced our Recovery Wellness initiative. Currently, when your treatment stay is complete and your insurance runs out, it all falls to the support groups (AA, NA, CA). With US overdose deaths passing 100,000+, we have to keep pushing the envelope to address this and find additional tools.
More veterans die now from suicide then from combat! We began our Warrior Down, No Vet Left Behind support program in 2012 as more and more veterans were returning from deployment with substance use and mental health issues. We are now expanding our veterans outreach. COA introduced our Fr. Vincent R. Capodanno Veteran’s Research Therapeutics. Therapeutics are a key influencer for your well-being. Through brain and wellness therapeutics COA will drive advances in and access to research and integrative/functional therapies to address the ravages that mental health and substance use disorders has had on our veterans. Keeping with the service and sacrifice of Fr. Capodanno no veteran is denied access due to status, religion or race.
Born of our Warrior Down -No Vet Left Behind program, no veteran will ever receive a bill from Fr. Vincent’s. COA believes that wellness, through initiatives like integrative therapies is the missing link to addressing mental health and substance use disorders. When COA started in 2008, relapse was inconvenient, but now relapse is deadly. So it’s not rocket science that if recovery can be extended, relapse can be prevented. All this, with a concentration on neurogenesis, as we hope to heal the brain. We are hoping to create this environment through a comprehensive wellness center.
Our veterans are natural born leaders, whose mental and physical well-being are impacted by PTSD and TBIs, and all the gains they make through Research Therapeutics will surely be passed to everyone with mental health and substance use disorders.
Therapeutics, including mental, physical and spiritual, can support healthy living, enhance recovery and prevent relapse. Leading-edge brain therapeutics, with a concentration on neurogenesis, include Hyperbaric oxygen, Ketamine and Methylcobalamin infusions, Psychedelics therapy, Neurofeedback, qEED, EMDR, EmRT therapy and Cannabinoid therapy. Psychotherapy is an important required support. Wellness therapeutics include Nutrition, Vitamin Infusions, Meditation and personal training. We are not a treatment center, nor an IOP. We are not a gym or ambulatory center. We want to be a Research Therapeutics & Wellness Initiative.
Take a risk…trust and believe in something greater than yourself! Please, come and be a part of City of Angels, as you are the difference!
Thank you for stopping by,
City of Angels NJ, Inc