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Governor Christie Highlights One-Stop Resource for Substance Use Disorders

Chris Christie official portrait 2013

Governor Chris Christie

Trenton, NJ, April 25, 2016 ― Advancing his commitment to a smarter, more effective approach in how the State supports individuals with substance use disorders, Governor Chris Christie on Friday visited the Interim Management Entity (IME), a one-stop resource managed through Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care in Piscataway.

The IME, which has been operational since July 1, 2015, coordinates addiction treatment services with statewide providers to ensure accessible and appropriate care.

“Today, someone seeking assistance and looking for addiction resources no longer has to search endlessly for help,” said Governor Christie.  “With our IME call center, we’ve moved away from fragmented treatment options to a single point of entry for individuals in crisis and their families.”

Governor Christie and Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Commissioner Elizabeth Connolly toured the call center and then visited privately with call takers, program directors, and people who called the hotline for help for themselves or their loved ones.

Through this management contract with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, individuals with addiction disorders who have private insurance, are uninsured or on Medicaid are able to more effectively access a broader scope of available services and resources throughout the state.

The IME-created 24-hour-a-day / 7-days-a-week addictions hotline, staffed by supervised, certified personnel, is 1-844-276-2777.  Between July 1 and the end of March 2016, the IME received and responded to 42,354 calls.

Call staff perform a preliminary assessment of the caller’s need and make appropriate referrals to addiction treatment service providers.

The service provider will do more detailed needs assessments, develop and implement a plan of care, and carefully monitor treatment progress. As patient needs change, plans will be revised appropriately to ensure recovery.

So far, approximately 25 percent of callers have been family members of a person with a substance use disorder seeking resources or referral about addiction services.  Of the calls received from people with a substance use disorder seeking treatment, about 20 percent have qualified for public funding.

In addition, to date, more than 1,100 people were provided addiction treatment care coordination and another 2,200 calls were made to follow up on callers who had been referred to treatment to assure that they made the connections to care.

The IME also fielded calls from people wanting to learn more about addiction’s signs and symptoms, support groups and insurance coverage options.

The Fiscal Year 2016 budget included a $2.3 million allocation to create a single point of entry for individuals in crisis and their families, and Governor Christie has proposed $2.7 million for the 2017 budget.

The rest of the $9 million project is funded by the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.