NJ Human Services to Expand Availability of Medication that Supports Recovery from Addiction
New Program Will Increase Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment that Aids in Recovery from Opioids
Feb. 10, 2021
(TRENTON) – Medicines proven to help people recover from opioid dependency will soon be available during longer, non-traditional hours under a $4 million grant program announced today by Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman.
As part of the Murphy Administration’s continued commitment to increasing access to medication-assisted treatment in the state’s efforts to reduce overdoses and fight the opioid epidemic, Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) has notified treatment providers that it will award five-regional contracts not to exceed $800,000 each to expand availability of the life-saving medicines throughout the state.
“Addiction isn’t 9-to-5,” Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman said. “Cravings don’t limit their grip to the work day, and many people work varying hours and rely on Medication Assisted Treatment to keep them on the path of recovery. We need to do everything we can to make sure the medication is available where and when it is needed.”
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration requires that the selected opioid treatment providers dispensing MAT – usually methadone or buprenorphine – also provide treatment or referrals to ongoing care for individuals with an opioid use disorder and keep the opioid overdose antidote naloxone on their premises at all times. In addition to onsite services, the successful bidder will provide prescribing services through telehealth.
Successful bidders will also have access to the services provided by New Jersey’s designated MAT Centers of Excellence, one at Rowan University/Cooper Medical School in Camden and another located at Rutgers University Medical School in Newark. The centers offer free training, mentoring and telephonic assistance to prescribers or individuals with a substance use disorder.
“For many people, the availability of medications at earlier and later-than normal program hours and a dedicated program offering medications and case management will improve access to care,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who oversees DMHAS. “Data from pilot programs in other states indicates that people seek treatment more readily when services are available at times that accommodate their work, school and family obligations.”
DMHAS expects to award the contracts in the spring. The request for proposal can be viewed here.