Friday, May 5, 2017

A Very Courageous Battle That MUST Be Waged!


·       Declared Opioid Drug Abuse a Public Health Crisis: Executive Order 219 declares the opioid epidemic a public health crisis in New Jersey and created the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Abuse Control.

·       Reopened Mid-State Correctional Facility as a drug treatment center for NJ prison inmates:The Gateway Foundation is providing treatment services at the 696-bed facility, the first licensed substance use disorder treatment prison.

·       Increased Prevention Efforts: Governor Christie signed legislation limiting initial prescriptions of opioids to five days to prevent addiction before it starts.

·       Expanded Access To Substance Use Disorder Treatment:  The Governor signed legislation to ensure people cannot be denied coverage by their health insurance provider for the first six months of drug rehabilitation treatment.

·       Expanded Treatment Beds for 18 and 19 Year Olds: New Jersey regulations do not allow state-licensed youth treatment facilities to treat 18 or 19 year-olds. Governor Christie instructed the Department of Children and Families to expand its residential services for teenagers who are struggling with substance abuse and who previously have been served in the adult system, opening nearly 200 beds to young people seeking help.

·       Improved Education: The Department of Education is developing a model curriculum specific to opioids so that every school has access to comprehensive opioid-inclusive drug education. Also, Corrections Commissioner Gary Lanigan is expanding Department of Correction’s Project PRIDE, which brings minimum security inmates to middle and high schools to share how drug abuse led them to addiction and prison.

·       Increased Options For New Jerseyans Seeking Substance-Free Housing: Governor Christie announced increased support of college “recovery dorms” by $1 million for counseling and additional services to help in the life-long battle to maintain sobriety. In addition, the Governor called on the legislature to ease overly restrictive statutory, regulatory and code hurdles for residences that provide supportive and substance-free housing in our communities. The Governor also is advocating for more Sober Living Homes to provide a safe haven to help those in recovery to become productive members of society.

·       Expanded The Pediatric Behavioral Health Collaborative: Governor Christie announced an additional $5 million for the statewide expansion of this successful pilot program providing telehealth hubs with a psychiatrist on call for pediatricians.

·       Urged The Federal Government to Facilitate More Treatment: Governor Christie called on the federal government to remove a limitation to using Medicaid funds to pay for people who are receiving inpatient substance abuse treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds. Removing the limitation would allow NJ to double the Medicaid beds that could be used for treatment and lead to recovery.

·       Selected To Lead The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis: President Trump named Governor Chris Christie as the chairman of a newly formed commission to address America’s growing drug addiction crisis. The President and Governor Christie participated in an opioid roundtable at the White House on March 29, with fellow stakeholders and leaders who will join in shaping nationwide life-saving policies, programs and services.

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