As opioid crisis worsens, Newtown man’s support group expands

January 20, 2018 GMT

NEWTOWN - At 27 years old, Matt DeLuca had deteriorated to such a state in his addiction that he would cry at night, thinking of the trouble he would have to go through to get high the next day, and desperately wanting to be free of it.

And yet the next morning, he would be on his way to do what he had done since he started buying OxyContin pills at Newtown High School - in spite of multiple attempts at treatment.

“The worst time for me was when it was quiet and I was truly alone with my own thoughts,” says DeLuca, now 31 and sober, who runs a support network with his mother for families of people with addictions. “When you really want something bad and you fail at it, you feel like a bad person.”

It wasn’t until DeLuca was honest with himself and with others around him about his disease that he turned the corner and began his recovery, he said.

He found the support from his family was one of the keys to living a life without drugs, he said.

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DeLuca and his mother, Donna, founded Community Action and Recovery Education and Support, or C.A.R.E.S., which helps families of those struggling with substance abuse to find hope and encouragement through community connections.

The C.A.R.E.S. group has grown as the opioid addiction crisis has deepened.

Matt DeLuca said he was going to more funerals for his friends than weddings, and realized he needed to pour his energy into sharing his story with families to help them get treatment for loved ones abusing drugs.

The C.A.R.E.S. group, which has chapters in Danbury, Trumbull, New Milford, and Shelton, recently launched a new group for the Southbury-Oxford area.

“Oxford was desperate to have a group - they had seven overdose deaths in one year,” Matt DeLuca said. “Last week was our first meeting and we had 32 people there on a cold Wednesday night.”

rryser@newstimes.com 203-731-3342