Friday, May 30, 2008

DUI Initiative Assists Poor with Access to Care

In 2005 the State of New Jersey set aside $7.5 million for the Driving Under the Influence (DUI) initiative to support the treatment of impoverished New Jersey residents convicted of driving while intoxicated. The fund is administered through the Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services/Intoxicated Driving Program (DAS/IDP) and covers the full range of care for addiction treatment.

Residents of New Jersey convicted of driving while intoxicated after October 17, 2000, are eligible to access these funds if they are determined to be financially eligible based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Drivers who were recently arrested for intoxicated driving also are considered eligible for the initiative provided they can verify their intoxicated driving arrest and meet the financial eligibility requirements.

The DAS/IDP staff involved with the DUII includes Ann Wanamaker, acting chief, IDP, and George Mladenetz, DUII coordinator,IDP, both of whom have extensive experience in the field of substance abuse. In its role as the DUII’s lead agency, NCADD-NJ is responsible for verifying client information, obligating DUII funding, paying DUII eligible providers for services rendered and reporting to the IDP and IDRCs on client activities. NCADD-NJ staff involved in the DUII include Maryann Diaz, DUII/ATR Program Manager, Steve Remley, the agency’s Director of Operations, Laura Videtti, Controller, and Rob Kocher, Director of Information Technology. Treatment providers can electronically submit client information for billing encumbrance, report progress, update services and bill for services. The transfer of funds for approved services provided is often accomplished within 24-48 hours.


“The experience that I have had, working on the DUI Initiative for the past 2 ½ years, has been both professionally and personally gratifying. I am continually impressed with the commitment the treatment providers in our network have made to this initiative. Their dedication to providing treatment services that were once not readily available to these clients is to be commended and it has been very rewarding to know that our combined efforts are truly making a difference in our communities,” says Maryann Diaz.

Questions regarding billing submissions and payments should be directed to Maryann Diaz at (609) 689-0599 x7019 or by email.

For more information about the Intoxicated Driving Program go to the Division of Addiction Services Web site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Appalling

“I was appalled,” Lodi Mayor Karen Viscana said on hearing the news. Her reaction suggested she had learned of some recent calamity. Perhaps Mayor Viscana was reacting to the Myanmar government’s continued refusal to admit aid workers to the country to assist cyclone victims? But no, that was not it. She was not responding to a disaster on that scale or, for that matter, on any scale. What the mayor found so repellent was that the town’s zoning officer, Joel Lavin, had approved an application for a methadone clinic within the town.

The mayor was not alone in her umbrage. According to newspaper reports, more than a hundred residents packed two recent council meetings to demand his immediate ouster. Perhaps they wanted to exact a greater penalty for his transgression. After all, property values were sure to plummet and children and the senior residents would be exposed to people being treated for an addiction to drugs.

Mr. Lavin had explained his rationale for issuing a certificate of occupancy to Pathways to Health to operate an outpatient clinic for heroin addicts. The section of town in question, he noted, allows doctor and dentist offices, so it seemed clear to him that a facility treating patients with an addiction certainly would be an appropriate use. That line of reasoning appears sound enough. Or it would if addiction were truly understood and accepted as a disease.

Such understanding does not exist, not even close. The” appalling” act was promptly undone by the borough council. And not only did the governing body reverse Mr. Lavin’s use approval, it also suspended him and is reviewing whether to eliminate his position altogether. It seems that Lodi found the idea of treating addicts in its midst so revolting that it wanted to erase any trace of the episode.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Client-Directed, Outcome-Informed (CDOI) Treatment Conference

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey (NCADD-NJ) serves as the lead agency of the Client-Directed, Outcome-Informed (CDOI) treatment improvement project, a New Jersey Health Initiatives award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to implement a state-of-the-art model of improving addiction treatment outcomes.

In continuing the effort, a one day conference is planned on Wednesday June 11, 2008 with two leaders in the addictions field, Dr. David Mee-Lee and Dr. Scott Miller. In addition New Hope Foundation staff members will also speak about engaging people in collaborative and participatory treatment.

The conference which takes place from 8:30 to 4:00 concludes with a panel discussion on how the CDOI approach has resulted in lower drop-out rates and higher-than-average success rates. Event to be held at the Crowne Plaza, 390 Forsgate Drive Jamesburg, NJ.

Download the conference brochure for agenda and registration.

For More Information:
609-689-0599 ext 7002

To register: PLEASE MAIL A COMPLETED REGISTRATION FORM and your payment to:
NCADD-NJ, 360 Corporate Boulevard, Robbinsville, NJ 08691
Attention: CDOI