Press Release

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2019

New 24/7 “Helping Hands 365” Hotline for Opioid and Substance Abuse in Union County

For immediate release July 1, 2019

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the launch of a new program to help combat substance use, reduce overdose deaths and reduce relapses in Union County. Called Union County Helping Hands 365 (UCHH365), the program is designed to improve access to treatment and support services by connecting addicts with peers who have achieved sobriety and are trained to help others.
Funding for the new program was approved during the regular meeting of the Freeholder Board on Thursday, June 27.
“Receiving trained, professional guidance from someone who has lived through the experience of addiction can make an enormous difference in an individual’s ability to recover, and to avoid relapse over the long term,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski.
“The Peer Recovery Specialists are trained to leverage their personal experiences, build trust, and help each individual connect with resources that enable them to turn their lives around,” said Freeholder Christopher Hudak, who sponsored the Freeholder Resolution establishing the program.
The local non-profit organization Prevention Links will implement the new program. Additional features of UCHH365 include:
• Weekly support for three months and bi-weekly support thereafter, for a total of up to six months.
• A 24/7 Hotline staffed by Peer Recovery Specialists will be available.
• Outreach and education for local community leaders, enabling Recovery Specialists to respond to referrals and visit persons seeking help in a familiar environment, including places of worship, community centers, social clubs and nonprofit agencies.
• Training for law enforcement so that individuals may be referred by law enforcement to the UCHH365 program.
• On call coverage at designated locations in communities with the greatest rate of overdose (Cranford, Elizabeth, Linden, Rahway, Union) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 24 hours per day between the hours of 8:00 p.m. Thursday through 8:00 p.m. Sunday.
• Transportation assistance for persons going into treatment.
The program will serve at least 250 Union County residents before the end of 2019. Any Union County resident over the age of 18 is eligible to seek help through UCHH365.
The program will serve at least 250 Union County residents by the end of 2019. Any Union County resident over the age of 18 is eligible to seek help through UCHH365.
To reach the UCHH365 Hotline or to contact Prevention Links for more details about the program, call Prevention Links at1-855-825-3275

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