Department of Human Services

NJ Human Services Awards Grants to Create Recovery Centers in Mercer & Salem Counties to Support Individuals with Substance Use Disorder

Recovery Centers Are Now Available in Every County

February 15, 2023

(TRENTON)Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department has awarded grants to organizations in Mercer and Salem counties to establish Community Peer Recovery Centers (CPRCs). CPRCs provide safe spaces where individuals recovering from substance use disorder can receive information about substance use disorder treatment and recovery support services.

There are 19 counties that have already received this funding. The grants announced today will expand CPRCs to Mercer and Salem counties, the last two remaining counties without CPRCs.

“Each of these recovery centers provide a safe place for individuals in all phases of recovery to gather in support of one another, share experiences, discuss coping skills, and offer each other hope in a community setting,” said Commissioner Adelman. “We are glad that now every county in the state will have a recovery-based center where people in recovery can learn about treatment options and services that can support their recovery, from people who understand their struggle.”

“These centers offer a safe and sober space that allows individuals from all recovery backgrounds to come together to receive peer-to-peer support as well as training, social, educational and recreation opportunities. I encourage anyone in recovery and in need of support to take advantage of these services,” said Deputy Commissioner of Health Services Lisa Asare.

The grants have been awarded to Creative Change Counseling, Inc. for services in Mercer County and Center for Family Services, Inc. for services in Salem County.

Each organization will receive a $100,000 grant of start-up funding to cover staff, office space, supplies and equipment, such as vehicles, laptop computers and cell phones. Service delivery should begin as soon as possible and no later than three months after grants are awarded.

The grants are funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response grant.

The purpose of CPRCs is to provide an environment where individuals can access peer support, information about substance use disorder treatment, recovery support services and information about other community resources in a supportive, substance-free environment.

“All activities at these centers will be led and driven by peers. These are individuals who have experience with addiction and recovery either directly or indirectly through a family member or friend, and who received training on how to provide recovery supports and services to others. This shared experience can be impactful and beneficial to individuals who up until now have been wary of seeking these types of services,” said Assistant Commissioner Valerie L. Mielke, who heads the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

This funding will expand the continuum of care to include an array of services that support individuals in their recovery including strategies to:

  • Strengthen the linkage between treatment and recovery;
  • Increase support for sustained recovery within the community;
  • Support individuals in their recovery and provide them with a sense of hope;
  • Offer resources to individuals seeking information about substance use disorder and behavioral treatment options;
  • Help prevent recurrence of problematic substance use;
  • Inform individuals about naloxone training and where they can obtain this life-saving medication;
  • Provide recovery resources;
  • Provide a trauma-informed community where individuals can achieve a full and satisfying life free of trauma and its consequences;
  • Help individuals in recovery to plan, create, invent and make things happen in their lives;
  • Improve life skills;
  • Provide a center for community-based leadership to grow and develop; and
  • Lead to improved outcomes such as: abstinence from substances, increased employment, increased enrollment education/vocational training, increased social connectedness, and reduced involvement in the criminal justice system.

Programming may include classes focused on wellness, nutrition and illness management, self-care, stress management, financial management and literacy education, and job and parenting skills. Housing assistance, such as information on finding sober living homes, may also be provided as well as telephone support. Over the phone, callers can speak with a peer staff to address any need they may have. If not provided by the CPRC, referrals to the appropriate resource are made.

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