Gov. Christie signs landmark legislation

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Not only was I a very proud citizen, while I sat in the state house to witness the signing of Senate Bill 3, I was also an inspired substance use disorder treatment provider. This bi-partisan measure which requires insurance companies to cover treatment for substance abuse treatment as well as limiting doctors to prescribe only an initial prescription of five days of dangerous opioid based medications will undoubtedly save lives. And while I drove home to north Jersey from Trenton, a recent graduate of Daytop New Jersey who thankfully stays in touch with me texted “ congrats on the new legislation!”. “It’s going to save lives.” I left the Governor and his inspirational words with a smile on my face and then the smile only grew bigger when the former Daytop New Jersey resident, now a young man enrolled in a local University thought of me to offer congratulations after learning of the wonderful news. I thought to myself why is this person congratulating me? Then I realized that so many people in recovery are so passionate about their recovery they just want to share the hope they feel in themselves each and every day with those who recognize their struggles. And that’s exactly how I felt while listening to Governor Christie talk about Senate Bill 3. There is hope. Hope even while so much destruction and devastation is caused by opioid abuse. Treatment does work and people do recovery. The actions taken today by our political leaders who so frequently are criticized for inaction, should be applauded. We should stand and applaud because more will get the length of treatment needed to recover form heroin and other opioid addictions. Powerful prescription painkillers will also be far less available on the black market in our state. Therefore, without a doubt, lives will be saved. Jim Curtin

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