Borough Drug Alliance moves to new location

Staff Writer


Borough Drug Alliance
moves to new location

RED BANK — The borough’s Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse is getting a new home.

At last week’s meeting, the Borough Council adopted an ordinance permitting the borough to rent new office space for the alliance.

The new office will be located above Downtown Antiques, 27 Monmouth St., and will be 250 square feet in size.

The ordinance allocates $475 a month for rent, which includes utilities.

The term of the lease is three years commencing Nov. 15, according to the ordinance.

The alliance’s office had been located at 107 Monmouth St. for six years, but because of plans to expand the Count Basie Theatre, located at 99 Monmouth St., the organization had to vacate in September, according to John Austin, director of the alliance.

Since September, Austin has been operating out of the Senior Center, 80 Shrewsbury Ave.

For reasons of confidentiality, the alliance has maintained an office separate from other municipal operations.

The alliance is a community outreach program that offers consultations for any borough resident, free of charge, on issues concerning alcohol and drug abuse, Austin said.

"Anything we can do to help children, individuals, and families," Austin explained. "I’ve seen the tragedy of alcoholism and drug abuse."

The alliance grew out of legislation passed by the state in 1990 which established a Drug Enforcement Drug Reduction Fund from fines levied on convicted drug dealers and those convicted of drunken driving, Austin said.

Those funds are distributed to the counties and then administered to various communities through a grant application process, he said.

This year the alliance received $22,900 from Monmouth County, and the borough contributed matching funds in both "hard dollars" (actual money) and "in-kind services," he said.

Those services, Austin explained, include such things as postage and copying costs and the assistance of municipal employees, such as secretaries.

The organization also does some fund raising which helps support programs such as the parenting workshop the alliance is conducting at the Charter School, the anger-management program for middle school students and the peer leadership conferences held at the borough’s public schools.

The alliance also publishes a public resource directory, sponsored by ads from local businesses. Over the last two to three years the alliance has distributed more than 5,000 of them, according to Austin.

"We work with the community in different ways," he said. "We try to foster strong family ties and time-honored virtues."

Austin, who is a certified counselor and has been with the alliance since 1994, said December is Prevent DWI Month, and he has placed emphasis on public awareness of that issue.

The culmination of that campaign, Austin said, will be the borough’s First Night 2001 celebration on New Year’s Eve, a family-oriented, alcohol-free event featuring entertainment townwide.

"In every way, we can we try to get out the message," he said.

Austin said he plans to be in the new location as of Monday.

Austin and the 15 volunteer members of the alliance hold monthly meetings. For information about attending or about the alliance, call (732) 530-2781, or log on to