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New Jersey Opioid Overdose Recovery Program

In October 2015, the Division of Mental Health Services (DMHAS), the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA), and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) granted funds to five agencies to develop the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP). This program was created to respond to individuals who have been reversed from opioid overdoses and who are afterward treated at hospital emergency departments. The program’s main objective is to link those individuals who have been reversed from an opioid overdose to withdrawal management, substance use disorder treatment, continued recovery support services, and a follow-up.

The program employs the strengths of Recovery Specialists and Patient Navigators to engage reversed individuals and provided recovery support, link them to treatment services, and also follow-up with these individuals for at least eight weeks. Recovery specialists, many of whom are in recovery themselves, are on call for majority of the week and respond to calls from the hospitals as needed.

The program was introduced in five counties in 2016 and six additional counties were added between March and May of 2017. Later in the year, New Jersey was awarded a State Targeted Opioid Response Initiative grant from SAMSHA from which funds were granted to expand OORP to the remaining counties. Between September 2017 and January 2018, nine additional counties were added to the program and the final two counties are expected to begin serving clients in February 2018. 

The Center for Prevention Science was tasked with creating the data collection instruments, collecting and managing the data, generating quarterly and annual reports, and orienting newer providers to all relevant OORP material and procedures.  The OORP team reports to DMHAS on various topics including but not limited to: meetings and state activities, evaluation activities and accomplishments, data collection/management, analysis of survey data, focus groups and key informant interviews. 

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