The Center for Prevention and Counseling received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from the Department of Health and Human Services worth $524,670. Those funds will go to support the Center’s mission of develop the capacities of adults and children to sustain healthy lifestyles by providing services designed to foster addiction-free lives, emotional wellness, financial stability and safe communities.
“No community is immune to the opioid crisis ravaging America’s families. New Jersey—and particularly Sussex County—are no exception,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “With our state on pace to surpass 3,000 drug related deaths in 2018, working together is the only way to beat this epidemic once and for all. I am proud to help claw back the federal tax dollars we send to Washington to fund prevention and recovery services in North Jersey to find effective and innovative solutions to the opioid epidemic. I am incredibly grateful for the work the Center for Prevention and Counseling and their executive director Becky Carlson are doing to save lives in Sussex County and in New Jersey.”
“The addiction epidemic in America is happening right here in our state,” said Becky Carlson, executive director of the Center for Prevention and Counseling. “This grant allows us to more effectively use the tools we have, like Medication Assisted Treatment, and expand our staff to save lives and give individuals and families in New Jersey struggling with addiction the best chance of recovery.”
The SAMHSA grant will allow the Center for Prevention and Counseling to increase their staff by hiring two new counselors, two new recovery coaches, and a full-time medical consultant. The Center will also now be able to offer intensive outpatient treatment, expand their telemedicine operation to stay in touch with those in need of services, and offer services to 485 unduplicated new patients over the next three years. They also work with law enforcement and the criminal justice system to ensure that those that suffer from addiction know what services are available to them and how to access them.
From January 1 through September 17, 2018, 2,058 people have died from drug overdoses in New Jersey – already more than all of 2017. Through July 31, New Jersey had administered over 9,000 doses of naloxone in 2018, a drug used as an opioid antagonist to help block the effects of an opioid overdose. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, in Sussex County alone, providers were only able to meet 60% of the demand for medical treatment for substance abuse.
Last year, Gottheimer announced that SAMHSA invested $13 million dollars to improve New Jersey’s response to the state’s opioid epidemic, as allocated by the 21st Century Cures Act. This year, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus supported and helped pass the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017 (SITSA) to give law enforcement the tools necessary to crack down on the distribution of synthetic drugs like fentanyl. Rep. Gottheimer also supported several bipartisan bills this summer that Congress passed to establish demonstration programs for alternative pain management protocols, to establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers, and to strengthen the FDA’s ability to detain, refuse, and destroy substances identified through international mail facilities, especially as more heroin and fentanyl comes in through China. In April, Gottheimer announced his Student Athlete-Stop Addiction Strategy to help protect student athletes from the opioid crisis.