THIS YEAR ALONE, GOVERNOR CHRISTIE HAS CONTINUED TO BUILD ON HIS BODY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT GETS US CLOSER TO QUELLING THE EPIDEMIC:
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
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.