The Woodbridge Township Opioid Overdose Recovery Program
If you would like help for yourself or a friend or family member who may have a substance use disorder, please call Addiction Services at 732-596-4199.
The opioid epidemic has resulted in numerous overdose deaths in Middlesex County. - Narcan (naloxone) is currently used when an opioid overdose has occurred. Lives have been saved, but patients are generally discharged from the hospital back into the environment in which they became addicted, with little or no treatment. - Currently, patients who have experienced Narcan reversal continue to use opioids, and often overdose repeatedly. The Opioid Overdose Recovery Program: The Opioid Overdose Recovery Program is a state-funded PILOT program, kicked off in 5 counties outside of Middlesex, that seeks to train and place “coaches” or Recovery Specialists, who are either in recovery from addiction themselves, or have “lived the life” via a loved one, at the hospital bedside of a patient who has experienced a Narcan reversal. - Peer Recovery Specialists relate to the patient in a way that others cannot, and are typically more able to convince the patient of the need for treatment. - Early data show success rates (getting patients into treatment) around 75-80% (compared to <1% prior to implementation.) The Opioid Overdose Recovery Program is state-funded, but in Middlesex, that funding has been awarded to RWJ Barnabas and will only be used for RWJUH. However, Woodbridge has lost too many residents to overdose, and Mayor McCormachas implemented the program at the township level, through collaboration with area hospitals, other towns in the county, and a group of Recovery Specialists employed by Soba College Recovery in New Brunswick. - When there is an opioid overdose and Narcan reversal, police currently call an ambulance and the patient is taken to the nearest emergency room. - Police would now also place a call to the Recovery Specialist dispatch, and a Specialist would be at the emergency room bedside as soon as possible. Hospital Role: Since police handle the dispatch, all we ask from hospital staff is that they allow Recovery Specialists into the room. We will meet with your staff at every level and as often as needed to ensure a smooth process. If you would like help for yourself or a friend or family member who may have a substance use disorder, please call Addiction Services at 732-596-4199. As the program progresses, we anticipate an increased need for addiction treatment services. We hope area hospitals will continue to collaborate with the Township in efforts to expand treatment options such as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) including buprenorphine and Vivitrol.