NJ Human Services to create incentive program to help people with stimulant use disorder

NJ Human Services to create incentive program to help people with stimulant use disorder

Plan calls for incentives to achieve target behaviors;

For those struggling with cocaine, crack and meth

May 19, 2022

(TENTON)Social Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced that the department has awarded contracts to develop a new incentive program to help people receiving treatment for stimulant use disorder who fight substances such as cocaine, crack and methamphetamines.

The program is based on the principles of contingency management, which is a behavioral approach that has been shown to be effective for substance use disorders that do not respond to other therapies or medications.

Under the $2 million pilot program, five treatment providers were awarded contracts to develop emergency management programs for stimulant use disorders. The programs will include gift cards as an incentive for individuals who successfully engage in recovery-oriented, goal-based activities for 16 weeks of treatment.

The program will be funded by SAMHSA grants.

Goals are designed to be recovery-oriented and may include the ability to provide stimulant-free urine samples and attend treatment sessions.

“The use of motivational incentives is a powerful intervention that improves engagement, increases abstinence, and improves overall recovery in substance abuse treatment,” Commissioner Adelman said. “It provides immediate positive reinforcement, and studies have shown it can lead to better patient retention and better outcomes. Stimulant use is increasing, and illicit stimulants have become cheaper and more potent. Illicit use of stimulants damages the cardiovascular system and causes lung and brain disease, strokes and death.We must be innovative in our approach to this public health issue – and save lives.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy Director (ONDCP) recently released a plan to deal with the rise in methamphetamine, as overdose deaths related to its use nearly tripled in three years (2016-2019).

Data for New Jersey indicates that the use of stimulants has increased significantly in recent years. From 2016 to 2019, cocaine hospital admissions increased from 11,070 to 15,691, crack admissions increased from 5,785 to 9,890, and methamphetamine admissions increased from 590 to 2,456.

“People with substance use disorders may mix the use of stimulants, such as methamphetamine and cocaine, with fentanyl-containing opioids, putting them at high risk for overdose,” said Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who heads the Mental Health and Addiction Services Division which oversees the incentive program. “However, many of those who only take stimulants may not be aware that these drugs can also contain fentanyl and that their use can lead to fatal overdoses. Treating stimulant addiction is essential but also difficult. Unlike opioids , there are no FDA-approved drugs for stimulant use disorders, so we face clinical challenges.However, there are behavioral strategies that work when it comes to helping people individuals to reduce or stop using stimulants.As noted in the ONDCP report, this includes contingency management, as we are trying here with this pilot program.

Program participants must be 18 years of age or older, have a stimulant use disorder, and be interested in participating in this pilot program.

Agencies that have won contracts include Maryville Addiction Treatment Center, Oaks Integrated Care, Integrity, Care Plus Bergen, and John Brooks Recovery Center.

Under the program, the five agencies must serve a certain number of clients per year and comply with program evaluations by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

“We are pleased to be able to develop an alternative approach for those in need and to support recovery,” Commissioner Adelman said. “I continue to urge anyone who needs help with a substance use disorder of any kind to call 1-844-ReachNJ. Help is always available. Don’t hesitate to call. »

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Ryan H. Bowman