NJ Human Services Awards Contracts to Help Mental Health Providers Treat Individuals with Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorder

Program Will Bolster Efforts to Help Providers Implement Medication That Can Support Addiction Recovery

March 10, 2022

(TRENTON)Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department has awarded contracts to help mental health programs provide medication that can support addiction recovery.

“Improving access to medicines proven to support recovery from addiction is pivotal in our ongoing efforts to make it easier for individuals to access care and receive the treatment they need,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “Our goal is to remove barriers for treatment such as socioeconomic status, financial challenges, misinformation, language and more. This is another step in our work to combat the opioid epidemic in New Jersey.”

The $300,000 program will be supported through federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s State Opioid Response grant funding. Services are expected to start on June 30.

Funds will be used to ensure providers develop the ability to prescribe and dispense substance use disorder medications buprenorphine, naloxone and naltrexone. This includes recruiting additional medical staff and purchasing medical equipment.

“The use of medications is proven to be effective in treating substance use disorder, especially in mental health treatment settings. It is critical to enhance accessibility of these key supports,” said Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who directs the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services that will oversee the initiative.

The contracts were awarded to Center for Family Services in Atlantic County and Oaks Integrated Care in Burlington, Camden and Mercer counties.

Meanwhile, programs can begin applying for a second round of grant funding. Under the next round, $300,000 will be available, with awards not to exceed $75,000. Both licensed mental health and substance use disorder programs are eligible to apply. Programs interested in applying for the grants and for eligibility information can go here to learn more.

Under the Murphy Administration, Human Services has also worked to expand opioid addiction treatment hours; improved access to life-saving naloxone and invested in educating communities about alternatives to prescription opioids. 

Human Services also 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.

“We’re pleased to be able to develop the capacity for mental health programs, as well substance use disorder programs, to provide life-saving treatment in the long-term. This is another resource to expand our reach for those in need and support recovery,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “I continue to urge anyone needing help to call 1-844-ReachNJ. Help is always available. Please don’t hesitate to call.”