Christie is one of the few politicians who makes addiction treatment a cornerstone in his political agenda.
On Wednesday Christie announced a funding incentive of $12M to help expand drug treatment programs and also after care programs.
“If we continue to work together to remove the stigma, to promote addiction treatment rather than addiction as a societal issue that denigrates and lowers people, than we have an opportunity to have more and more people realize what a gift their life really is.”
Christie made his announcement after meeting with women participating in the non-profit organization called Mommy and Me. The announcement was made outside of the Center for Great Expectations in Somerset New Jersey.
The program works to keep mothers together with their children while the women attend a drug treatment and counseling program. Through the program mothers get to live with their children while they are working on their recovery from addiction.
“Studies show that women that can live with their child are more likely to complete their treatment, to abstain from substance abuse going forward and have higher self esteem and fewer problems with depression – obviously all good things, constructive things.” – Christie said.
The funding was divided through the state into different programs and focus.
- The Mommy and Me program is to receive an addiction $1.8 M which will allow The Center for Great Expectations to expand into southern Jersey. This is the only program that also allows pregnant women to attend so they can give birth and work on recovery through the process.
- $1.5 million was set for residential treatment programs for youth suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.
- $6 million was dedicated to preventative services which included the Department of Human Service.
- $1.3 million for services that integrate out-of-home treatment for youth with mental health and addiction treatment needs.
- $1.5 million for drug court participants which will put money into halfway house substance abuse treatment programs. This money is intended to work with an expansion of a law Christie signed which makes it mandatory for non violent, low level offenders to be sentenced to treatment programs instead of prison.
Christie has always put addiction treatment in the forefront of his agenda, and he has given the issue more focus in recent weeks. The funding announced is a combination of money that was already put aside for state addiction treatment programs and by reshuffling some department funds.