TRENTON — One can enjoy company, entertainment, and life, without being under the influence of one or more mind-altering substances.

You can find proof on Saturday in Trenton, where folks will gather for the 3rd annual "Partying Sober" event, presented by Empowerment House and Trenton United Family Foundation.

The event is open to the public — whether you've been sober for some time or never once touched drugs or alcohol, or you're questioning your ability to get clean.

"A lot of people question, what's next? If I leave the drugs alone, how would I be able to enjoy my birthday? How would I be able to enjoy my accomplishments?" said Trenton resident Juan Rolon, president of Empowerment House.

Rolon, 40, has been substance-free since his incarceration at age 18. Now, he's a drug and alcohol counselor.

"Being in a position to counsel and encourage, and promote recovery and relapse prevention, helps me keep my blade sharp," Rolon said.

Rolon said some substance users who are trying to get clean may have even more triggers these days, given the launch of dispensaries for recreational marijuana in the state.

The charity event is scheduled to run from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Mill Hill Park (East Front and S. Broad St.) A rain date is scheduled for Sept. 17, but the weather for Saturday looks fine.

Attendees will be treated to free food and refreshments, as well as giveaways. Event features include music, testimonials, and community vendors. There will also be recovery and treatment resources on hand for those who want to learn more about the process.

According to Rolon, harm reduction advocates will be on hand to provide Narcan training and Narcan kits.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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