In the year 2016, nearly 2,000 people died from opioid related overdoses in the state of New Jersey alone. There have been numerous efforts to regulate the distribution of deadly opioids. There have also been actions taken to ensure that people are less likely to die from an overdose. New Jersey has first responders undergo training and carry drugs on them at all times to reverse overdoses. There have also been pushes to increase the formation and the initiation of recovery coach programs or peer recovery support programs.
Offering the Gift Hope
The program was called the SOBA Outreach Initiative when it was first founded by SOBA New Jersey. The administration at SOBA New Jersey was aware of the large number of overdoses in the area. We determined that we wanted to help individuals suffering from substance use disorder find treatment. The Program initiated by SOBA New Jersey’s purpose was to have individuals already involved in long-term recovery travel to hospitals and help addicts in the grip of opioid addiction. The recovery coaches meet and speak to people who have recently had their overdoses reversed. SOBA’s recovery coaches are CCAR certified to help individuals who have had overdoses reversed find treatment options.
As SOBA’s outreach program expanded, we found an ally in Woodbridge Township. SOBA New Jersey began to work with Woodbridge Township to create the Woodbridge Opioid Overdose Recovery Program. The Woodbridge Opioid Overdose Recovery Program expanded and the program began receiving more funding from the township. As a result they were able to take on the responsibility of training new recovery coaches and began employing their own recovery coaches.
Dispatching recovery coaches to hospitals makes all the difference. It allows for those in the thrall of addiction to have someone who has been where they are help them find a pathway to recovery. Recovery coaches follow up with the people they meet in hospital rooms and try to guide them toward a path of recovery. SOBA New Jersey and Woodbridge’s efforts have made certain that many lives are being salvaged. Individuals suffering from substance use disorder are finding the ways and means to live up to and exceed their potential