Families in Support of Treatment (F.I.S.T.) was founded by Anthony Rizzuto, LMSW, CASAC, CAI-I to support, educate, guide and provide resources for families struggling with a loved one’s addiction. In 2012, Anthony asked his friends and colleagues to lobby elected officials in New York State to support legislation to increase access to treatment.
Acting as an agent of change, in 2014, F.I.S.T. worked with the Long Island Council on Alcoholism (LICADD), and the Long Island community to ensure the passage into law of a comprehensive package of eleven bills designed to remove barriers to treatment. These changes in law helped to prevent insurance companies from denying inpatient treatment to persons and saved countless lives. “The changes in law were essential to help individuals access appropriate life-saving treatment. Anthony said, “when a person says they need help, you need to seize that opportunity, those who struggle with the disease of addiction aren’t bad people trying to become good, they are people with an illness trying to get well.”
In 2016, F.I.S.T. was approved as a non-profit organization with the mission of working to support the entire family’s journey to recovery. F.I.S.T. recognizes that substance use disorder is caused by heredity, mental health, trauma and discomfort with the self. F.I.ST. is preparing for the future by underscoring the role of prevention and working with schools. Today, F.I.S.T. operates under the 501c3 of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) supporting the healing and recovery for the entire family as these organizations know that addiction tests the foundation of a family, and our partnership allows us to introduce our suite of services to individuals and families most in need of services. F.I.S.T. and LICADD are working closely with LICADD’s team to raise public awareness of the perils of the opioid crisis and fentanyl poisoning.