Opioid overdoses continue to impact communities across the country.

In Mercer County, a new mobile unit will be used to fight the opioid crisis.

“Initially, the mobile unit focuses on the hardest hit areas based on where overdoses have occurred over the past few years,” said Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes.

“The unit will be traveling throughout the county because we know every community has overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal.”

This comes after the Mercer County Office of Substance Abuse Services contracted with the Trenton Rescue Mission to provide mobile recovery services.

The mobile unit provides residents with same-day connections to a variety of treatment services and is open six days a week.

According to the Recovery Research Institute, mobile devices are being used in communities across America to deliver treatment services directly to hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations.

Funding for mobile recovery services was provided through the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, according to the county.

“The Trenton Rescue Mission was awarded a $343,701 contract ($313,701 in state funds); and $30,000 (in county funds) to provide a mobile recovery support unit from May 1 to Dec. 31, with a one-year extension,” Hughes said.

The district will have one mobile unit of two full-time employees and one part-time employee.

The unit is designed to assist the county in engaging residents and informing them of available local resources.

In addition, the new mobile unit provides Narcan kits, connects residents to local treatment services and helps prevent overdoses in the county, according to Mercer County.

“Currently, community outreach has already begun using a van that already belongs to the Rescue Mission,” Hughes said. “The rescue mission has ordered and acquired a new mobile unit specific to this service and contract, but there have been some delays in delivery.”

Hughes said he hopes to have the new mobile unit up and running in December or January.

“In the meantime, the rescue mission team was able to develop their workflow, order supplies and provide services to the residents of our county,” he said.

Currently, the Mercer County Office of Drug Abuse is undertaking other efforts to help deal with overdoses in the county.

These efforts include a fatal overdose review team, Narcan education and outreach services, as well as additional school-based prevention programs, treatment support services, and community-based recovery.

According to Hughes, the county contracts with many treatment providers to provide access to services and/or case management.

The Office of Addiction Services is finalizing a community needs assessment that will guide funding for the 2024-2027 Mercer County Comprehensive Plan.

Residents were able to fill out a questionnaire to help identify funding needs and service gaps for county residents.

For more information about the Office of Addiction Services, visit www.mercercounty.org.

Source link