Ocean County Press Release
Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment and
Community Programs Available

TOMS RIVER – Substance abuse prevention, treatment and community programs are ongoing in Ocean County to help those individuals and families affected by the growing dependence on illegal drugs and alcohol.

"These are difficult times across our nation," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. "It is so important to have programs and services in place to help those battling addictions, whether drugs or alcohol."

Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Health Department, said that last year, almost 900 Ocean County citizens received either inpatient or outpatient care for drug and alcohol addictions through programs administered by the county health department.

"Our health department has always been proactive helping those who are battling addiction, but also working diligently to educate in order to prevent drug and alcohol abuse." Little said. "The department is helping make a difference every day."

Little said about $1.5 million was earmarked in county and state funds in 2013 to provide county residents with treatment at detox facilities and at both in-patient and out-patient programs.

The health department provides the screening, including determining income eligibility, for citizens who may need to enter treatment programs.

Little and Vicari, both former educators, recognized the health department for its active role in helping to educate and raise awareness regarding drug abuse and drug abuse prevention including working with the Ocean County Opiate Task Force, promoting proper disposal of prescription drugs, designing school programs, and participating in substance abuse forums.

"Getting information out to the public, to the schools, to our senior communities and letting them know the dangers that exist and that help is also available is an ongoing mission of the county Health Department," Vicari said. "In working in conjunction with law enforcement, faith-based organizations, municipal alliances and a host of other organizations, the County is making an all out effort to raise awareness that drug abuse is a growing problem and it's partnerships and cooperation that will help in the efforts to reduce the number of people affected by it."

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