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About NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services

A lot of people don’t know that there are many different types of treatment for the disease of addiction, but it’s important that you learn about them, so you can choose the best one for you. All of them are based on how much care you need and what types of supports will make it easiest for you to get and stay well. Care for a substance use disorder falls into four types, which many people have said help them get back to a healthy place.

The New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addictions Services (DMHAS) provides a directory designed to help you find which offices or clinics in your area offer services for people managing the disease of addiction.

Opioid Treatment Provider (OTP)

Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) are structured and licensed outpatient programs that dispense and/or administer methadone in conjunction with appropriate counseling and other treatment services to patients with an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). An OTP may also dispense and/or prescribe other treatment medication approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of OUD, such as buprenorphine or naltrexone. click here.

Expanded Hours Opioid Treatment Providers (OTPs)

Currently, six (6) Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) in NJ provide expanded access to services. OTPs are structured and licensed outpatient programs that dispense and/or administer methadone in conjunction with appropriate counseling and other treatment services to patients with an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). An OTP may also dispense and/or prescribe other treatment medication approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of OUD, such as buprenorphine or naltrexone.
Expanded Hours OTPs provide additional access to care by increasing hours of operation, providing telehealth services, and removing administrative barriers to treatment for those with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Expanded Hour OTPs are available in Atlantic, Gloucester, Hudson, and Mercer, Ocean and Union counties. Providers have naloxone available at all times.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, often in combination with counseling and possibly help from a person with lived experience of managing addiction. These services provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders. For that reason, MAT has become the most recommended treatment, and many people struggling with the disease of addiction say that MAT has helped them sustain their recovery. You can receive MAT in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

The prescribed medication operates to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions. These medications are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and people may safely take them for months, years, several years, or even a lifetime. As always, plans to stop a medication must always be discussed with a doctor.

Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are used to treat opioid dependence and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, fentanyl and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. (You might know buprenorphine by the brand names, Suboxone© or Subutex© and naltrexone by the brand name Vivitrol©.)

Disulfiram (Antabuse©), acamprosate (Campral©) and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat alcohol use disorder. None of these drugs provide a cure for a disorder, but they are most effective in people who participate in a MAT program.
Naloxone is an especially important medication used to “reverse” an opioid overdose and save someone’s life. All people in New Jersey who want to have naloxone to prevent crisis can buy NARCAN© kits over-the-counter from their pharmacy or attend a specialized training available from New Jersey’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. More information is available at https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmhas/initiatives/naloxone.html

Another medication to consider is nicotine-replacement therapy, or NRT. More and more people who manage substance use disorders want to add this treatment, so they can also quit smoking. Our field is making a lot of progress in NRT, and many people say that they appreciate it when doctors or nurses help them get NRT as a part of their overall recovery.
Finally, many people managing the disease of addiction also learn, when they start treatment, that they also have a “co-occurring” mental illness, such as serious depression or anxiety disorder. Most consumers say that they’ve had far more success when they also were prescribed medications that treat specific mental illnesses. These medications are sometimes also considered “assisted” treatments.

DMHAS has established two MAT Centers of Excellence, one in the north at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and one in the south at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Contact them at COE@njms.rutgers.edu if you live in Northern New Jersey; if you live in the Southern region, contact Nikole Ticcino at ticcinnl@rowan.edu.

Inpatient Services

In general, inpatient treatment is care you receive at a facility where you’ll stay for a period of time, sometimes weeks or months, whatever you need. Many people call inpatient treatment “rehab,” but residential care for substance use disorders is more specific than that. To make the decision about inpatient treatment, you should start by having an evaluation by a professional specifically trained to diagnose the disease of addiction. Only with a thorough evaluation can you learn whether inpatient treatment is the right type of care for you. During this evaluation, you can also make the choice of whether you’d like to receive Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
When you and your health professional make such a shared decision, you’ll consider several things: if you’re in crisis, if you have other health problems, and if you also have a “co-occuring” mental illness, such as serious depression or anxiety disorder. In these cases, inpatient programs give you time to stabilize, where you’ll have daily access to clinicians who are trained in the treatment of serious substance use disorders. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about yourself, your addiction and coping strategies that will help you once you’re discharged.

Outpatient Services

When deciding if outpatient care is what you need, a major consideration is whether you’d like to, and will be able to, continue with work or school at the same time you get treatment. But in all cases, to make that decision, you should first get a full evaluation by health professionals trained in substance use disorder.

If you choose to use outpatient services, you and your health professional will talk about types of care that combine different treatments. Some programs offer intense services, where you might go to an office or clinic for most of the days each week. Others will recommend that you attend less frequently or that you take part in group therapy. If you’d like to receive Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), you can do so while working on your recovery in outpatient treatment.

Withdrawal Management

Many people believe that they need to get detoxification, or “detox” to begin treatment. This idea is not always true; for many people managing the disease of addiction, their withdrawal symptoms can be managed quite well in outpatient care where you can also receive Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). A qualified physician should evaluate whether a person can manage withdrawal in an outpatient setting.

If you know that you are at risk of overdosing, or if you have a child or friend whom you worry about, always keep the phone number of Reach NJ with you. The number is shown at the top of this screen. The professionals who answer the phone can tell you what you can do to handle an emergency.

Naloxone is an especially important medication used to “reverse” an opioid overdose and save someone’s life. All people in New Jersey who want to have naloxone to prevent crisis can buy NARCAN© kits over-the-counter from their pharmacy or attend a specialized training available from New Jersey’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. More information is available at https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmhas/initiatives/naloxone.html

Withdrawal management is a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxification. Supervised detoxification may prevent potentially life-threatening complications that often appear if the patient had been left untreated. The medications needed for an episode of detoxification depend on the substances that were used. With this information, your physician will determine the type of care you need. This type of treatment involves:

  • Evaluation includes testing substances of use in your bloodstream, measuring their concentration, and screening for co-occurring mental and physical conditions. Evaluation also includes a comprehensive assessment of your medical and psychological conditions.
  • Stabilization includes assisting you through acute intoxication and withdrawal to the point where you are medically stable and your blood is substance-free.
  • Referral to substance use treatment by helping you to find the right treatment and to understand the importance of following through with complete substance use treatment.

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NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services
222 S Warren St
Trenton, NJ 08625