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SPOTLIGHT: Rockaway, NJ Affiliate’s HOPE ONE Project--Update


Last year we spotlighted HOPE ONE, an unprecedented project in both New Jersey and the Country.

Using a repurposed Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team vehicle and drug forfeiture funds, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Morris County Prevention is Key and its Center for Addiction Recovery Education and Success (CARES); the Mental Health Association of Essex & Morris, and the Morris County Department of Human Services, put HOPE ONE on the road.

HOPE ONE is a mobile recovery access vehicle traveling the county at least two days per week in five-hour time blocks. HOPE ONE sets up at locations that are natural places for the community to frequent, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, libraries and parks. It offers critical support for persons and families struggling with addiction. Proven successful, a new contact is made every nine minutes the vehicle is on the road. On board HOPE ONE is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, a mental health clinician and a plain-clothed Sheriff’s Officer. HOPE ONE is set up to help people feel welcome by providing coffee, refreshments, free Wi-Fi, a charging station, donated toiletries and maybe most important, a conversation with someone who is able to provide support in a stigma-free environment.

CARES Certified Peer Recovery Specialists, through a grant from the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, provide Naloxone (Narcan) Rescue Trainings which teach individuals how to recognize and properly respond to an Opiate Overdose, including how to administer the life-saving antidote, naloxone, and provide a free Naloxone Rescue Kit. Eligible individuals are those at risk of an opiate overdose, their family members, friends, and loved ones. To date 781 individuals have been equipped with Naloxone Rescue Kits with a recorded six rescues reported.

When HOPE ONE hits the road each day the team knows where and how many treatment beds are available. The Certified Peer Recovery Specialist uses his or her lived experience with addiction to relate to an individual. Clients who are ready for help have immediate access to services including detox and treatment, putting them on the road to recovery. Mental Health Clinicians likewise can connect an individual with the appropriate services.

Since its launch in April 2017, HOPE ONE has toured Morris County, stopping at 101 locations, providing services to 2,684 individuals, connecting 112 people to addiction and mental health services. The project has garnered interest from other law enforcement agencies from as far away as Florida. The Morris County Sheriff and the HOPE ONE team are currently working with Newark Police Department and Essex County Office of Emergency Management to create a HOPE ONE unit to serve Essex County. Morris County Prevention is Key, through its CARES program, provides training for people with lived experience with addiction to become Certified Peer Recovery Specialists. This credential is through the Addiction Professionals Certification Board of New Jersey and meets the standard for the International Credentialing and Reciprocity Consortium standard for Peer Recovery credential. Morris County Prevention is Key currently has a grant from CVS Health to train Certified Peer Recovery specialists throughout New Jersey.

For more information:
Melody Runyon, Associate Director, Morris County Prevention is Key, Inc.
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