Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office launches new program to combat drug use and addiction

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The mission of a new initiative in Middlesex County is to coordinate efforts between members of law enforcement and community partners to most effectively use all available resources to prevent and treat drug addiction.

Through Blue Cares, law enforcement officers cultivate an environment that fosters recovery through readily available local and regional addiction recovery networks, according to information provided by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.  Emphasis is placed upon providing family and friends of the addicted with assistance to get their loved ones the help they need. In addition to directly promoting health and well-being, Blue Cares aims to reduce the stigma associated with addiction.

“Law enforcement officers routinely administer naloxone (Narcan) to prevent immediate death. We recognize that this is just the beginning of what it takes to truly save the life of an addict,” Carey said in the statement. “Blue Cares identifies those individuals in the community who require intervention, and offers them and their families a network of providers that are immediately available to assist them in the recovery process.”

Blue Cares has a 24-hour hotline at 732-596-4199, which is answered by Peer Recovery coaches who can assist callers with referrals or immediate services, regardless if they have insurance.

“I am confident that the coordination between Prosecutor Carey and Dr. Bonnie Nolan, Woodbridge Township’s Addiction Service coordinator, will lead to success in our continuing efforts to provide education and addiction counseling to those and their families who need it,” said Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac.

The Prosecutor’s Office has initiated this new collaborative partnership with the Middlesex County Public Health Department, Middlesex County Office of Human Services – Division of Addictions and Mental Health Planning, Middlesex County Chiefs of Police Association, Woodbridge Township Health and Human Services – Addition & Recovery, the Wellspring Center for Prevention, and Mainstream Recovery.

Blue Cares is financially supported by the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (“NJ CARES”) grant program, and is based on the attorney general’s Operation Helping Hand initiative. The grant funding originally came from federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was passed through to NJ CARES by the state Department of Health, according to the statement.

For more information, call Lt. Melissa Terpanick of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-3982.