NJAMHAA Applauds Creation of NJ CARES to Fight the Opioid Crisis

February 23, 2018 -

The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc. (NJAMHAA) applauds the creation of NJ CARES, the New Jersey Coordinator of Addiction Response and Enforcement Strategies, within the Office of the Attorney General to oversee efforts throughout the Department of Law and Public Safety and establish partnerships to identify and implement solutions to the opioid crisis and drug addiction.

"The initiatives that will be undertaken by NJ CARES are much needed and appreciated, as New Jersey has the highest rate of opioid and heroin addiction in the nation, as well as a high prevalence of addictions to other substances," said Debra L. Wentz, PhD, President and CEO of NJAMHAA. "We are especially pleased to see that the Statewide Opioid Response Teams will be working around the clock to connect individuals to treatment services and that the NJ Prescription Monitoring Program will be expanded. We are confident that these components, along with the NJ CARES website and Interagency Drug Awareness Dashboard, will have a profound, positive impact on the lives of individuals with addictions and their families throughout the state."

"As 60 percent of individuals with addictions also have mental illnesses, we hope the Statewide Opioid Response Teams will also be trained to recognize mental health disorders and refer individuals to providers who treat both mental illnesses and substance use disorders," Dr. Wentz added.

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