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8/8/2019 - Cumberland County Launches Mobile Recovery Unit

The Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced a bold initiative to address substance use disorder in our community. “Recovery on Wheels” is a collaboration among Cumberland County’s Department of Human Services, Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s Department and Health Department, which will leverage the resources of those agencies to place a mobile addiction recovery unit in locations where the needs are the most acute. Freeholder Director Joseph Derella invited members of the media and the public to the mobile unit’s ribbon cutting ceremony at Inspira Health Center, 333 Irving Avenue, Bridgeton, NJ on Thursday August 8 at 12:00 pm stating, “I hope everyone will join with the Freeholders in celebrating the beginning of this groundbreaking collaboration to combat substance use disorder in our community.”

Echoing those sentiments, Freeholder Jack Surrency added, “The Recovery on Wheels vehicle is a bus outfitted to provide access to substance use disorder recovery services on the spot in real time.” Numerous services will be available through the Recovery on Wheels (R.O.W.) bus as it navigates to scheduled locations, beginning August 12, 2019 , throughout the county. Services will include, but are not limited to:

• Peer Recovery Coaches & connection to clinicians
• Narcan (opioid overdose reversal) education
• Information and referrals to various social services.
• Needle disposal
• Hepatitis A vaccinations
• Health screenings and other health services
• Temporary ID when needed for the purpose of accessing treatment services
• Disposal of prescription drugs & distribution drug-deactivation Deterra Pouches

Deputy Freeholder Director Darlene Barber in explaining the origins of the initiative stated, “The Department of Human Service’s involvement in coordinating the Cumberland C.A.R.E.S. Recovery Coaches opened the door to discussions across County departments working toward the same goal: stemming the tide of addiction and the opioid crisis affecting our county.” Barber added, “The County’s Office of Aging made a retired fleet bus available at the same time the County Prosecutor’s Office was in the midst of implementing Operation Helping Hand, a grant funded initiative through the NJ Attorney General’s Office to have law enforcement officers play an active role in connecting individuals suffering from addiction with vital treatment and recovery support.”

Director Derella, in praising the joint effort of county agencies stated, “Building upon the success of Operation Helping Hand, the County Prosecutor’s Office allocated funds to outfit the bus as a mobile platform for the C.A.R.E.S. Recovery Coaches, while the Cumberland County Improvement Authority performed the retrofit with guidance of the County Department of Human Services.” “The Sheriff’s Department provided its support for the initiative by pledging a driver, storage and fuel for the mobile unit”, added Derella.

Freeholder Surrency pointed out that the mobile unit has many potential public health uses stating, “The County Health Department will use the mobile unit to reach often underserved residents of our county by bringing services directly to those in need.”

“The Department of Human Services has made the mobile unit a reality, “Recovery on Wheels” and I ask that the entire community join with us in supporting the critical work it will empower”, concluded Director Derella.


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