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NJ Human Services Announces Expanded Substance Use Disorder Outpatient Treatment Hours Coming for Ten Counties

NJ Human Services announces extended outpatient treatment hours for substance use disorders for ten counties

Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean and Passaic have extended hours; Expanded hours reinforce efforts to remove treatment barriers for people with substance use disorders

November 17, 2022

(TRENTON)Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman announced today that the Department has awarded contracts to expand outpatient addiction treatment in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean and Passaic counties.

Vendors can start increasing hours as soon as possible, but no later than within three months.

“At Human Services, we understand that people with substance use disorders are more likely to seek treatment when services are available at times that accommodate their work, school and family commitments,” Commissioner Adelman said. “That’s why the department is excited about awarding contracts that remove traditional treatment barriers and increase access to medications that can support recovery in outpatient care while meeting their personal needs.”

The $2 million program is paid for through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) American Rescue Plan Act. The program is administered in Atlantic County by the John Brooks Recovery Center; Burlington, Camden, Essex and Mercer counties from Oaks Integrated Care; Hudson County by Integrity, Inc.; Hunterdon County from Hunterdon Medical Center; Monmouth County from New Hope Integrated Behavioral Health Care; Ocean County by Bright Harbor Healthcare; and Passaic County at Eva’s Village. Services are scheduled to begin early next year.

Interested agencies submitted proposals which were evaluated and prizes were awarded based on this evaluation.

Human Services focuses the extended outpatient consultation hours on areas with high demand. Funds will be used to ensure providers implement three additional hours of service per day, at least six days per week.

The intention is to extend the hours into the evening hours and add new people to the services during these times. The aim is to make these services available nationwide.

“These contracts ensure that individuals can attend treatment and receive continuity of care without interruption,” said Deputy Health Services Commissioner Lisa Asare. “Continued treatment is key to a lasting recovery, and we look forward to implementing extended treatment hours statewide. We are committed to ensuring that all New Jersey residents have equal access to medications that can aid in recovery.”

Services include outpatient consultation hours for individual, group and/or family sessions; drug monitoring; screening for acute illness and co-occurring mental health problems; and education about the use of naloxone. These services create improved access to care by removing traditional barriers to inclusion and ongoing treatment.

Ambulatory services work to support the development of a client’s life skills to maximize their individual functioning at times other than traditional hours. In outpatient services, clients and staff work together to plan and implement effective treatment.

“It’s important to make it easier for people dealing with substance abuse to access treatment,” said Deputy Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who heads the Mental Health and Addiction Services Division who will oversee the initiative. “Removing traditional barriers to treatment will help more needy New Jersey residents get help through home care when they need it most.”

The contracts build on previous efforts to provide similar services. Over the past year, Human Services awarded contracts to Atlantic, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Ocean and Union counties to develop ways to extend treatment times for opioid use disorders. Based on the expansion of services by these agencies, it is estimated that each agency under this plan will be able to serve approximately 30 to 50 more people per month by offering more flexible office hours.

Under the Murphy administration, Human Services has also worked to provide recovery support to college students with substance use disorders. expanded access to life-saving naloxone through the Naloxone Distribution Program; created additional recovery centers to support individuals with substance use disorders; and provided cultural skills training to opioid treatment providers to reduce the treatment gap experienced by black residents.

“I continue to urge anyone who needs help to call 1-844-ReachNJ‘ said Commissioner Adelman. “Treatment works and it’s never too late to start the road to recovery.”

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