Further Help on the Way for NJ Residents Struggling with Addiction
The New Jersey State Senate has approved a plan that would allocate more resources to treating addiction in the state. The bi-partisan bill was introduced last month as part of a multi-bill legislative package and reflects the collective will of both republicans and democrats to take a new approach to substance abuse prevention efforts. It comes on the heels of Governor Christie announcing an additional $12 million for substance abuse treatment. New Jersey has been battling a fierce opiate addiction problem for years, and both sides agree that treatment is a better solution than enforcement in combatting the problem.
How Will the New Laws Help?
The measures include the formation of a task force commissioned by the governor to spearhead recovery efforts and work to remove the stigma associated with addiction. They also call for mandated reporting of overdoses by healthcare providers to the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System for detailed reporting and education purposes. Additional provisions include a mandatory annual report from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services; the creation of sober-living houses at four New Jersey Universities and the creation of a three-year pilot program to give eligible inmates access to addiction treatment programs. Designated prisons will also be required to dispense addiction treatment medication to recovering prisoners.