Hunterdon County Commissioners Look Toward Opiate Response Funding Priorities

The county is look at how to spend opioid settlement funds.

File photo.

The Hunterdon County Commissioners this month passed a resolution to prioritize recommendations from the Hunterdon County Opiate Settlement Fund Taskforce on the allocation of funds aimed at mitigating the local opiate crisis.

During a recent meeting, the Hunterdon County Opiate Settlement Fund Taskforce conducted a comprehensive needs assessment to identify the county’s most pressing requirements in combating the opiate crisis.

The assessment involved a community survey, agency feedback, and both virtual and in-person listening sessions.

Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren, who also serves as the liaison to the Hunterdon County Department of Human Services, voiced support for the taskforce’s efforts.

“The County of Hunterdon and this Board recognizes that the opiate crisis continues to impact our residents and fully supports the recommendations made by this taskforce,” Van Doren said.

Key funding priorities identified by the taskforce were:

  • Community Education, Survey recipients indicated that greater awareness and education is needed on what services are currently available within the county, and how to access this information.
  • Transportation, Accessible transportation is a barrier to treatment expressed by community members and providers. Expanded transportation is needed to increase all levels of assistance to substance use disorder treatment, including transportation to meetings and to employment.
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), There are limited services in Hunterdon County to assist with MAT. To obtain certain types of medication, community members must travel out of County.
  • Housing, Community members and providers noted that sober living options are scarce in Hunterdon County.
  • Hope One Van, The Hunterdon County Hope One van was originally a retired LINK vehicle. This program interacts with over 1,500 people per year providing outreach, education, and provides free naloxone.

Following the commissioners’ endorsement, plans are in place to hold a public meeting to outline these priorities and gather further community input.

The taskforce aims to refine the priorities based on public feedback and invites service providers to submit letters of intent.

The process will help in crafting a detailed request for proposals to effectively utilize the National Opiate Settlement funds, which Hunterdon County will continue to receive until 2038.

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