Governor Christie Unveils More ReachNJ Stories of Brave Residents in Recovery


New Videos Now Available Online Show Addiction Recovery Is Possible


HELP IS WITHIN REACH -- Further strengthening his commitment to conquering substance abuse disease, Governor Chris Christie is reminding all New Jersey residents that if they are battling addiction, they need not suffer, they are not alone, and urged them to seek help immediately because it is within reach at the state’s one-stop helpline and website and 1-844-ReachNJ (732-2465).

Governor Christie today unveiled new videos telling the stories of courageous survivors he has met in his quest to stop this epidemic, who have turned their lives around after being gripped by drug addiction.

James, a recovery aide and former client at the Rescue Mission of Trenton where he met Governor Christie, tells how he was a football player who got hurt while in high school and was prescribed pain relievers.  He explains he was the number-six recruited football player in the nation before addiction shattered his dreams.  He says he determined while sitting in jail, he didn’t want to feel that pain again and chose to maximize every minute he has left on the earth.


WATCH: Reach NJ: James’ Personal Story



Governor Christie continues to appeal to those out there who are suffering to seek help as the first step to reclaiming their lives – lives that are precious.  He says New Jersey is experiencing an epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse, with friends and family dying at twice the national average.  He implores those in need of help to take that first step  and call the ReachNJ helpline or go to the website where they will get caring, personal attention to help them on the road to recovery.


WATCH: Reach NJ: Governor Chris Christie


Madeline grew up in southern New Jersey where she started using at the age 13 and was a full addict by 20. She “challenged” God after visiting church that if He wanted her off of drugs that she would need a sign and, shortly after, she says she received that sign, starting on a two-year road to recovery.  Madeline has been in recovery now for several years. She currently resides in Camden County with her daughter, where she is an active member of her community and is heavily involved in her church. She takes great joy in being happy and free from drugs.

WATCH: Reach NJ: Madeline’s Personal Story



When I was an addict I was in a dark place... I felt alone.

Cuando estaba adicta yo estaba en un lugar oscuro... me sentia sola.


The drugs were all that mattered to me.

Las drogas eran lo unico que me importaba.


Looking back … I praise God that I am alive.

Mirando hacia atras, le doy gracias a dios que estoy viva.


and now ... I am happy, I’m free...

Y ahora soy feliz, estoy libre.


I got help, you can too.

Yo consegui ayuda, tu puedes tambien.


Help IS within your reach.

La ayuda esta a su alcance.


Call 844- REACH NJ or visit REACHNJ DOT GOV.

Llame al 844 REACH NJ o visite a REACHNJ punto GOV.




  • 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.

Press Contact:
Brian Murray

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