The numbers are staggering. According to The White House, in the 12-months ending October 2021, a historic 105,752 persons are predicted to have died from a drug overdose. That is a 71-percent increase over this period in 2016. The drug overdose epidemic continues to take a heartbreaking toll on Americans and their families.
The White House has recently unveiled its 2022 National Drug Control Strategy which outlines the Biden-Harris administration’s plan to reduce illicit drug use and the associated harms by focusing on supply reduction, demand reduction, harm reduction and treatment.
Since 1979, John Brooks Recovery Center has been implementing these measures, specifically with Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). This long-term approach to treating individuals with substance use disorders involves a combination of safe medications and weekly counseling. As the individual stabilizes and makes progress toward their recovery goals, the use of medication may decrease based on clinical and medical staff assessments.
Additionally, we partner with the Atlantic County Justice Facility to provide on-site Medication-Assisted Treatment, along with counseling and connections to continued treatment upon release. This program has made MAT available to a population that did not have access to this treatment previously.
The Biden-Harris Administration is focusing on harm reduction measures by implementing the use of naloxone, drug test strips, and syringe services programs. JBRC has been distributing naloxone/Narcan, which are life-saving medications that can reverse an overdose from opioids.
Recently, JBRC has started distributing fentanyl test strips. This comes on the heels of a recent rise in deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl, according to CDC data. The CDC notes that fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin. Currently, there are drugs on the street, like heroin, pain pills, cocaine and other stimulants that are laced with fentanyl.
To further reduce harm, we decided to expand our hours of admission to make treatment more accessible to a population we never have been able to serve thus far. We now offer evening hours for our Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program at our Pleasantville location Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The new hours are in addition to the MAT Program’s normal hours Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. in both Pleasantville and Atlantic City.
With a recent surge in drug overdoses, JBRC has been and continues to be a leader in providing a continuum of care for individuals struggling with substance use disorders regardless of financial circumstance or socio-economic background. JBRC provides Residential programs, Outpatient programs, Primary Care, MAT, a Gambling Treatment Program, an Inmate Re-Entry Program and All Roads Recovery Center to save lives and help individuals on their road to recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, please call JBRC today. For Residential Programs – Residential Detox/Withdrawal Management, Short-term Residential or Long-term Residential, please call 609‑345‑0110. For Outpatient Programs – Opioid Treatment Program, Intensive Outpatient Program or Standard Outpatient Program, please call 609‑345‑2020, extension 6182, 6180 or 6179.