Drug addicts searching for restoration in sure areas of New Jersey can flip themselves into a neighborhood police division and obtain assist. Overdose victims introduced again to life with the overdose reversal antidote naloxone have choices for restoration after they’re nonetheless in a hospital mattress.

A number of packages supported by legislation enforcement exist to to assist individuals affected by substance abuse get assist, officers mentioned.

However now, for the primary time in New Jersey, residents in Monmouth County charged with low-level, non-violent drug offenses can get assist as soon as they’re launched from jail pending trial, officers introduced Tuesday.  

“Habit is a illness … you can’t arrest your means out of dependancy,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden mentioned at a press occasion asserting his new “Subsequent Step” program. “It’s a illness, and whereas we’re intent on holding individuals accountable for his or her actions and their violations and their law-breaking, we’re simply as decided to safe a path for a more healthy dwelling for these people.”

Subsequent Step will goal offenders, principally with drug possession expenses and DWI, as soon as they’re launched from jail below the state’s new bail reform tips. Restoration specialists will meet with these offenders inside 72 hours and work with them to get them therapy for substance abuse.

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This system won’t be accessible for suspects charged with first-degree or second-degree felony crimes, like some drug distribution offenses. 

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni mentioned he’ll work with the Sheriff’s Workplace to succeed in these offenders after they’re at their lowest level and “assist break the cycle of dependancy.”

“We are able to additional fulfill our primary sworn mandate, and that’s to guard and save lives,” Gramiccioni mentioned. “… So when individuals ask me what’s actually inflicting our citizen right here in Monmouth to die, it is opioid-related abuse.”

In 2017, there have been 151 overdose-related deaths in Monmouth County, in comparison with 43 deadly crashes and 13 homicides.

In New Jersey, 10,000 residents have died from drug overdoses since 2014, mentioned former Gov. James McGreevey, who was additionally in attendance.

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“What the sheriff has executed, with the management of John (Brogan, CEO of Lifeline Restoration Assist Companies) and the prosecutor, is to know that we have to tackle gaps within the system,” McGreevey mentioned.

“And the aim of bail reform was so critically necessary to have the ability to expedite individuals by way of the jail course of, however one of many gaps was the shortcoming to offer for enough therapy and assessing an individual within the midst of dependancy, and that is what the Subsequent Step program will do,” the previous governor mentioned.

These packages are working, mentioned Brogan, who has partnered with Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato for his “Blue Hart” program. That program permits Ocean County residents who need assist for his or her substance abuse issues to flip themselves into greater than a half-dozen police departments within the county and get assist, not drug expenses.

Brogan mentioned 389 people in Ocean County took benefit of this system in 2017.

“Take into consideration that for a second,” he mentioned. “People affected by substance abuse dysfunction that historically have points with the authorized system flip themselves into a neighborhood police station in Ocean County.”

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He mentioned officers in Monmouth and Ocean counties had been monitoring people affected by substance abuse points that went by way of the system. And what emerged was a disturbing pattern, he mentioned: Overdose victims had been usually launched from the hospital, touchdown again in jail, getting launched after which winding up useless.

This was occurring at “staggering charges,” Brogan mentioned.

The early returns for the Subsequent Step program are promising, in line with Brogan.

Three weeks in the past, he mentioned, a pilot program for Subsequent Step confirmed that about 60 % of the 122 people recognized accepted assist.

Golden mentioned the important thing to extended success is bringing collectively completely different legislation enforcement companies and healthcare professionals.

“Corrections and rehabilitation is our enterprise,” Golden mentioned of the jail, “not imprisonment.” 

Alex Napoliello could also be reached at [email protected] Observe him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Discover NJ.com on Fb.

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