Somerset County Launches Program to Connect Addicts With New Jersey Drug Rehab Centers
Somerset County recently unveiled a new program that connects drug offenders and those arrested for alcohol-related crimes with New Jersey drug rehab centers that can help them achieve sobriety. The program, called Steps to Action Recovery and Treatment, or START is modeled after a similar program that launched in Hunterdon County three years ago. The START program will help the state save millions in incarceration costs, and improve public safety by lowering addiction and overdose rates.
If you or someone you care about is addicted to drugs or alcohol, call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 609-798-4584 to learn more about available treatment options. Our addiction specialists will help you find nearby rehab centers in New Jersey that can guide you or your loved one to sobriety and a healthier lifestyle.
Using START to Improve Addiction Rates
The goal of START is to provide resources to individuals who suffer from addiction and other crisis. Under the program, packets of referral information for rehab centers, behavioral health centers, and other agencies are given to first responders, police, and staff at hospital emergency rooms. These workers then distribute START resources as needed to those who commit crimes related to substance abuse, and to those affected by substance abuse.
Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson says drug addiction affects individuals from all social and economic circles, and that arresting repeat drug offenders won’t resolve the state’s opioid addiction crisis. Robertson adds that education is an important weapon in the fight against opioid addiction, and that saving lives is his top priority. Most drug rehab programs offer education courses that teach recovering addicts about addiction, and about how to avoid relapse during and after treatment.
Last year, the emergency department at a local hospital administered an opioid overdose antidote drug to 77 individuals who had suffered an overdose. So far this year through September, there have been 114 overdose cases that involved the use of this drug, called Narcan, or naloxone. This overdose antidote drug helps revive individuals who have overdosed on heroin and other opioids.
Achieving Sobriety at Drug Rehab
A Somerset County resident named Jeff underwent elbow surgery for a gun-related accident almost five years ago and was prescribed oxycontin for pain relief. Jeff said he enjoyed the euphoric high he experienced when taking oxycontin, and took more pills than suggested, causing his prescription to run out quickly. Less than two months later, Jeff was addicted to heroin.
Jeff says that at the height of his addiction, he was using 20 bags of heroin per day. After having lost his job and been arrested for several drug-related offenses, Jeff says jails need more programs to help addicts overcome addiction. He adds that drug offenders end up sitting around in jail doing nothing anyway, and could benefit from outpatient addiction treatment a few days per week.
If you are addicted to heroin, opioids, or another substance and live in New Jersey, understand there are several rehab centers nearby that can guide you safely through detox, withdrawal, and recovery. Call our confidential helpline at 609-798-4584 to learn more about New Jersey drug rehab centers that specialize in treating your addiction type.
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