Gov. Christie: We Have A Responsibility To Help Those Facing Addiction Who In Turn Will Give Back

Transcript:

Governor Christie: You all inspire me. When people ask me all the time like why am I spending so much time focusing on this, and money and all the rest, I tell them all the time that it’s the people that I meet. I mean, every time that I come out of sitting with folks like you and listening to your, at least parts of your journey that you’re willing to share, it makes me go back to my staff and say okay, well, now we have to do more about this, we have to do more about that. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing, that’s why I think it’s so important and a lot of the focus of the new programs are on prenatal care, are on teaching obstetricians about talking to their patients about these issues. About making sure that when you see the signs you get someone for help immediately and not wait, to not think that your only obligation as a healthcare provider is for the very narrow purpose that you’re specialty is. It’s not just about bringing that child alive and healthy into the world it’s about making sure you treat both, the mother and the child. And know that, you’re bringing a child into the world where the mother has unresolved issues with substance abuse disorder and other mental health issues, that you’re not setting them up for success, you’re setting them up for real, real difficult challenges. And so, a lot of what we’re spending additional money on is going to be on trying to deal with mothers and trying to get them the help that they need in all those different ways- in early intervention, in treatment, in out-patient treatment, in supportive housing and employability, all those things. So that, when you leave here and you make your steps towards full reintegration into society, that it can be full reintegration. Being like, ‘hey, I’ve got a job, I’m making money, I’m supporting my family, I’ve got a safe place to live and a place that my children feel safe and cared for. And it’s not just a wonderful mother who continues to work every day on her recovery as a part of her gift to her children and her responsivity as a parent but also that all the other things that you want to provide for your children, at least they’re available to you as an option. So, I think our responsibility goes far beyond just getting you sober for a period of time. We have a responsibility to try to help you, because in the end you end up giving back. And you mentioned that, Melissa, you now feel integrated in the community and you feel that you can give back and that’s what we’re trying to get to is when people ask me what’s the investment, the investment is A. saving lives first because we don’t want anybody to go the other way and we have too many people who are dying. I’m sure lots of people you know, and certainly people I know, too. Then we want people to feel a sense of self-confidence and self-worth because I absolutely believe that every life is an individual gift from God and that there’s no life that’s beyond redemption. So, if we get to that point, then we want to get to the point where you’ve now got the ability to give back to the people who gave you that chance.

Press Contact:
Brian Murray
609-777-2600

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