State Begins Recovery Check-Up Services With $1.5M Grant

By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern

SOUTH JERSEY – In 2020, there were 82,254 individuals admitted into treatment in New Jersey suffering from substance use disorder; in 2021, that number jumped to 87,745. However, most admissions are discharged to face the ongoing struggles of recovery on their own. To further assist these individuals, on April 17, Human Services Commissioner, Sarah Adelman, announced the Department of Human Services launched a $1.5 million program, paid through federal funding, that awards contracts to offer Recovery Management Check-Up (RMC) services in New Jersey’s 21 counties. 

Any individual who has been discharged from substance use disorder treatment is eligible for an RMC service. Recipients will be provided service through monthly check-ins for nine-months aiming to enable those in recovery to remain in recovery. However, if necessary, more check-ups can be provided, and the number of hours offered can be flexible for certain clientele needs. 

“Through this initiative, discharged individuals impacted by substance use disorder will receive ongoing care that supports independent living and long-term success with recovery,” Commissioner Adelman said. 

Clientele for RMC service is chosen through referral by a treatment provider. The RMC utilizes enhanced methods of active outreach to attain referrals to clients after they leave treatment, including virtual face-to-face visits, text messaging and chat features, and the opportunity for in-person contacts. 

These services offer further support after treatment to individuals in recovery and identify areas that call for additional intervention or community support to end the ongoing opioid epidemic. Staff who assist clientele use brief assessment tools to evaluate an individual’s progress and current needs and check on recovery status. Motivational interviewing techniques will be highly utilized within this process, in addition to connecting clients to appropriate community resources and/or treatment, if necessary.

“At Human Services, we understand that addiction is a chronic disease and to effectively treat this disease, long-term management must be implemented. That is the basis of a Recovery-Management Service,” said Deputy Commissioner of Health Services Lisa Asare. 

If additional treatment is necessary for certain individuals, a second referral process will be conducted to admit the client to an appropriate community recourse or admission to treatment like self-help meetings, food pantries, and sober living houses. 

The program’s money has been awarded to Prevention is Key’s northern region and Prevention Links’ central and southern regions, with a maximum award of $500,000. These providers are entitled to ensure that diversity, inclusion, equality, and cultural and linguistic competence are a part of their services. 

Prevention is Key works to promote health and well-being in New Jersey through awareness, advocacy, education, programs, services, information, and referrals. Prevention Links aims to foster healthy and sustainable communities in New Jersey by empowering people through education and collaboration and serving as the link to certain resources. 

Services expect to start early this coming 2023 summer. 

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with substance use disorder, call New Jersey’s 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week helpline, 1-844-REACHNJ. 

To learn more about substance use disorder and co-occurring mental disorders, click here.

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