News Release

PO 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Christine Grant
Commissioner
For Release:
April 3, 2000
For Further Information Contact:
Tom Breslin
Dennis McGowan
609-984-7160
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Department Expands Drug Treatment for
Adolescents and Young Adults in Southern New Jersey

TURNERSVILLE -- Fulfilling a commitment Governor Whitman made to concerned parents in southern New Jersey, Commissioner Christine Grant today announced $2 million in substance abuse treatment services for adolescents and young adults in eight southern counties. In addition, the department is studying potential sites for a long-term care residential treatment center for adolescents in the southern region.

"Drugs tear apart families and affect the quality of life. Our young people especially need help in conquering drug addiction. If we don't pay attention, we will lose them," said Governor Whitman.

The Department of Health and Senior Services expects over 600 adolescents and young adults will receive necessary substance abuse treatment with the funds. The majority of treatment will be for adolescents, ages 12-17. Some of the funding will be used for treatment services for young adults, ages 18-24.

Residents from Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem are eligible to receive these services. The $2 million will pay for expanded long-term residential care (minimum length of stay 6 months), short-term residential (average length of stay 90 days) and subacute detoxification (average length of stay 3 days) treatment. In addition, some of the funding will be used to expand outpatient services.

"If we can treat drug addiction at an early age, there is a better chance that our young people can become healthy and productive," said Commissioner Grant. The department spends approximately $70 million annually for drug treatment services in New Jersey.

Each of the eight counties' Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinator offices will receive up to $10,000 for facilitating access to treatment and case management services. The increased funding will be allocated on a formula basis ensuring that each county receives an equitable share of the new monies.

The Department of Health and Senior Services has been working with the Parent to Parent Coalition of Southern New Jersey, the Southern New Jersey Addiction Services Providers Coalition, and the eight southern county Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinators to get their input and guidance in developing this plan.

Ms. Susan Foose, Coordinator for the Parent to Parent Coalition, said "we applaud the efforts of the Governor and the Department for their recognition and commitment to increasing services in our region. They have vision, and where there is vision, there is hope."

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