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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

Riley Regan, Pioneer and Advocate in Alcoholism and Drug Treatment

December 7, 2012

SEABROOK, N.J., Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Seabrook House would like to share the following notice.

Riley W. Regan, a nationally recognized authority on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Public Policy, died peacefully at his home on December 7, 2012, after a short bout with primary liver cancer. He was 77.

Mr. Regan, who had a life-long personal and professional relationship with the field of alcoholism and drug abuse, was the founding director of the New Jersey Division of Alcoholism where he was credited with implementing the Alcoholism Treatment and Rehabilitation Act, which decriminalized public drunkenness and established a statewide county planning system for alcoholism treatment and prevention.

He also was instrumental in developing legislation that established the nationally recognized Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program aimed at reducing drunken driving in New Jersey.

Mr. Regan subsequently served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA), an agency responsible for prevention efforts statewide. For more than 20 years he was on the faculty of the Rutgers University Center for Alcohol Studies and taught at numerous colleges and universities throughout the country on alcoholism and drug abuse topics. Earlier in his career, he served as Deputy State Director of the Maryland Alcoholism Control Administration and Deputy Director of the National Center for Alcohol Education.

“Riley was a passionate advocate for those struggling to overcome substance abuse. His monument is all those who he helped back to useful lives,” said former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean, one of four governors under whom he served.

Mr. Regan was a past president of the National Association of State Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Directors and served five years as a member of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s National Advisory Council. He was the New Jersey Social Worker of the Year, the Newark Star Ledger’s “Jerseyan of the Year,” the New Jersey Human Services Administrator of the Year and received numerous other recognitions. He also was honored on five occasions by resolutions from the New Jersey General Assembly for his ongoing work in the alcoholism and drug abuse field. Mr. Regan was one of five state employees in the nation honored by the National Governor’s Association. A long-time advocate for compulsive gambling treatment and prevention, Regan was instrumental in the creation of the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling.

His tireless efforts to integrate alcoholism and drug abuse intervention services into the criminal justice system led to the creation of pioneering programs providing treatment to incarcerated alcohol and drug users as well as the development of court-sponsored diversion systems.

In June of 2002, he came out of retirement to become the Director of the New Hampshire Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Recovery. During his seven years of retirement, Mr. Regan was the Chairman of the Kokomo, Indiana Mayor’s Task Force on Drug Abuse Prevention; was one of the 10 mentors from across the country on the Robert Wood Johnson project “Developing Leadership in the Substance Abuse Field,” continued lecturing at alcohol and drug conferences and institutes, served as an advisor to the State of Indiana’s addictions programs and was an expert witness on the American Disabilities and Federal Fair Housing Acts.

Mr. Regan was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and drew his passion and commitment for his work from his own personal experiences with drugs and alcohol. He was an example of recovery to countless others and dedicated his life to helping alcoholics and drug addicts recover to live dignified and productive lives.

Mr. Regan holds master’s degrees from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

He is survived by his wife Katie Morris Regan of Cranford, stepchildren Kathy Maack and Scott Engle, his sister Judith Leary and nephews Patrick and Kevin Leary of Maryland. Other stepchildren include, Megan Cambridge, Marcy Brack, William Robinson and Jody Bosley. His parents Blake Evans Regan and John Harold Regan preceded him in death.

Calling hours are at Gray Memorial Funeral Home, 12 Springfield Ave, Cranford NJ., on Tuesday December 11 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a special service at 8 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Saturday December 22 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Cranford. A repast will follow.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Oxford House, Inc., 1010 Wayne Ave., Suite 300, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910. Contributions may be made at www.oxfordhouse.org. Oxford House is a national non-profit organization that establishes supportive housing for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. There are 1,589 Oxford Houses across the country and 82 in NJ.

Seabrook House is an internationally recognized, private CARF-accredited addiction treatment center with several locations. The main facility is located in Bridgeton, NJ, convenient to Pennsylvania, New York and surrounding states. Our 90-day transitional living facility for men, Seabrook House West, is located in north central Pennsylvania in the town of Westfield. Our 90-day transitional living facility for women, Changes, is located on our main campus. A regional office is located in New York City, along with outpatient offices in Cherry Hill and Northfield, NJ. Seabrook House has been helping families find the courage to find recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction, substance abuse and other compulsive diseases since 1974.

To contact Seabrook House, please visit the organization’s web site at www.SeabrookHouse.org, or call the 24-hour help line at 1-800-761-7575.

SOURCE Seabrook House


Source: PR Newswire