Department of Human Services

NJ Human Services Announces Expanded Opioid Addiction Treatment Hours Coming for Ocean & Union Counties

Expanded Hours Bolster Efforts to Remove Barriers to Treatment for Those with Opioid Use Disorder;

Ocean & Union to join Atlantic, Gloucester, Hudson & Mercer Counties with Expanded Treatment Hours

Nov. 22, 2021

(TRENTON)Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department has awarded contracts to expand opioid treatment service hours in Ocean and Union counties, meaning six counties will now have expanded addiction treatment hours.

“Traditional service hours can be a barrier to treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “That’s why we’re pleased to award contracts to further expand services to provide medication that can support recovery and to help individuals get ongoing care. The opioid crisis has tragically taken far too many lives, and this is yet another step in our continuous effort to make it easier for individuals to access care.”

The $1.6 million program will be paid for through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response grant funding. The program will be implemented in Ocean County by Ocean Monmouth Care and in Union County by Organization for Recovery, with services expected to start in February.

            Human Services is focusing the expanded service hours on high-need areas, and earlier this year awarded contracts to establish similar programs in Atlantic, Gloucester, Hudson, and Mercer counties. Expanded services in those counties began in July.

            The intention is to extend hours into the evening and admit new individuals into services during these times.

Services include medical screening and facilitated referral; behavioral health assessment; medications for treatment of OUD including methadone and buprenorphine; case management services; brief intervention; and treatment and/or facilitated referral to ongoing treatment. Providers have naloxone available at all times.

Along with onsite services, prescribing services are also be available through telehealth, thereby expanding the reach of the expanded hours.

“These services create increased access to care by removing traditional barriers to engagement and ongoing treatment,” said Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who directs the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services that will oversee the programs. “Our goal is always to make it easier to access to treatment. This bolsters that effort.”

For the four counties already with expanded hours, the services are provided by John Brooks Recovery Center in Atlantic, ARS of New Jersey in Gloucester, Spectrum Healthcare in Hudson and Iron Recovery & Wellness in Mercer.

Under the Murphy Administration, Human Services has among other steps worked to expand access to life-saving naloxone; invested in educating communities about alternatives to prescription opioids; trained more doctors and advanced practice nurses to provide medication that can support recovery and changed Medicaid rules to make it easier to get this medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, including removing prior authorization requirements.

New Jersey also designated Centers of Excellence in the treatment of OUDs at Rowan University/Cooper Medical School in Camden and Rutgers University Medical School in Newark, to offer free training, mentoring and assistance to prescribers or individuals with substance use disorder. These services will be available to providers for this expanded hours program.

“We’re committed to saving lives by reaching those in need, removing barriers to treatment, expanding access to vital medication-assisted treatment and distributing life-saving naloxone across our state,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “I also, as always, continue to urge anyone needing help to call 1-844-ReachNJ. Treatment works. Recovery is attainable.”