Freeholders describe the move as an important step to ensure a county-owned treatment facility will be fully utilized for years to come.
Burlington County Freeholder Linda Hughes, liaison to the County Department of Human Services, has announced that the Freeholder Board has taken what freeholders describe as another important step to ensure that a county-owned drug and alcohol treatment facility will be fully utilized for years to come as the county continues to address what freeholders call “the scourge of substance abuse that is plaguing communities here and across the nation.”
During its meeting this week, the board authorized Maryville Addiction Treatment Center of New Jersey to be the operator of Post House Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center in Pemberton Township for the next three years.
The board previously awarded Maryville an emergency contract in September, which enabled the reopening of Post House by allowing them to temporarily operate the facility until the end of the year. At that time, the county began the legal process of seeking proposals from interested vendors to operate Post House on a long-term basis.
“It is so important that we continue to provide resources to Burlington County residents who have been affected by drug addiction,” Hughes said at this week’s freeholder meeting. “Tonight’s action by the board ensures Post House will be operated by a noted addiction treatment provider for the next three years. With Post House, we are ensuring that short-term residential treatment and detox services are located in Burlington County.”
According to the county, Maryville was founded in 1949 and is recognized as a leader in the treatment of addictive disease and co-occurring disorders. The action taken by the board in September allowed Maryville 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 will provide six beds at Post House for long-term residential treatment for the Drug Court Initiative. They will also provide 12 beds for detox and 30 beds for short-term residential treatment.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina expressed appreciation to the freeholder board for their continued efforts to revive Post House.
“As the opioid abuse epidemic continues, the Freeholders deserve a lot of credit for taking the steps necessary to find a responsible provider to reopen and operate Post House,” Coffina said. “It will be a tremendous asset to the county to have 48 beds once again available for our drug court program and for individuals ready to confront their addiction by seeking treatment.”
According to the county, so far this year, Narcan has been deployed by law enforcement officers on 268 occasions in Burlington County. The antidote has also been used by Emergency Medical Technicians throughout the county 359 times from the beginning of the year through August.
Hughes stressed that helping residents overcome addiction will remain a priority of the freeholder board. The reopening of Post House joins other board initiatives such as the county’s Addiction Task Force, Narcan training events, support group meetings, and prescription drug drop boxes that allow residents to dispose of unused medications that are no longer needed. The board has also supported the recently announced Opioid Overdose Recovery Program in Burlington County.
The three-year agreement with Maryville to operate Post House, at no cost to county taxpayers, is from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2020. Maryville is responsible for paying rent and taking care of the operational expenses including utilities, grounds upkeep and insurance.