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Burlington County Freeholder Linda Hughes announced today that the Freeholder Board has taken measures to ensure that a county-owned drug and alcohol treatment facility will be reopened and fully utilized as the Board continues to actively address the scourge of substance abuse that is plaguing our communities.
During its meeting tonight, the Board authorized an emergency contract that will enable the reopening of Post House Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center in Pemberton Township.
“This is an important step in the Freeholder Board’s continued effort to provide assistance to Burlington County residents seeking treatment,” said Freeholder Hughes, who is the Board’s liaison to the Burlington County Department of Human Services. “Without Post House, there are no short-term residential treatment or detox services located in Burlington County.”
The action taken by the Board allows Maryville Addiction Treatment Center of New Jersey to begin the licensure process with the State of New Jersey with the intent of reviving the 48-bed facility as soon as possible. Maryville, which was founded in 1949 and is recognized as a leader in the treatment of addictive disease and co-occurring disorders, will operate the facility while the county undertakes the legal process of seeking proposals from interested vendors.
In addition to short-term residential and detox services, the facility will also maintain six long-term residential beds for referrals from Drug Court.
The Freeholder Board expressed appreciation to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina and Superior Court Assignment Judge Ronald Bookbinder for supporting the effort to revive Post House.
“We all owe Freeholder Hughes and Human Services Director Shirla Simpson a debt of gratitude for their tireless efforts to reopen Post House,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “In the midst of the worst addiction crisis in our nation’s history, it was unconscionable to have 48 treatment beds be unavailable to county residents and nonviolent offenders in need. Through the efforts of the county government, and with the cooperation of Judge Bookbinder, county residents and Drug Court participants will once again have a crucial treatment option to help them with their drug recovery efforts. Having Post House reopened represents a great example of different parts of our county and state government working together to achieve a positive result.”
The critical need for treatment beds is evident by the increased use of Narcan in Burlington County to revive those who have overdosed on opioids, Freeholder Hughes noted. From January 1 through August 24 of this year, Narcan has been deployed by law enforcement in Burlington County on 203 occasions, Prosecutor Coffina said. All but nine people were revived.
The Request for Proposals, which will be issued by the Burlington County Department of Human Services, will seek a three-year agreement for the operation of Post House as a substance abuse treatment center at no cost to county taxpayers. The provider that is awarded the contract will be responsible for paying rent and taking care of the operational expenses including but not limited to utilities, grounds upkeep and insurance.
Freeholder Hughes stressed that helping county residents overcome addiction will remain a priority of the Board. The reopening of Post House joins other board initiatives such as the recently-announced Opioid Overdose Recovery Program in Burlington County, the county’s Addiction Task Force, Narcan training events and support group meetings and prescription drug drop boxes that allow residents to dispose of unused medications that are no longer needed.
“We must continue to work together as a supportive community to help save the lives of the people who still live with addiction,” Freeholder Hughes said. “The reopening of Post House is part of our ongoing effort in this battle. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction in Burlington County, there are resources and support available for you. Please know you are not alone.”