OCEAN COUNTY – Do you need a helping hand? Well a new program has been announced that can help you or a loved one.
The Prosecutor’s Office has formed Ocean County Helping Hand (OCHH), a program that was created to identify and assist any person who is struggling with substance use disorder.
“Ocean County Helping Hand is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (NJ CARES). The grant allows for some latitude in how we utilize our resources. My team and I identified a segment of the community as being at risk and under serviced regarding access to substance use disorder treatment. In researching viable options, my team and I determined there is a significant segment of the community frequently returns to our municipal courts. These are individuals that commit minor possessory and paraphernalia type offenses. They get into a little bit of trouble but they never graduate to indictable level crimes. As such, they are never exposed to or offered any type of substance use disorder treatment. With that in mind, we designed Ocean County Helping Hand to meet them where they are: in our municipal courts,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer stated.
OCHH has currently taken in 19 individuals who were screened for services and/or treatments and will be monitored by the OCPO team for up to twelve months. The program will help assist people in multiple ways including occupational training, housing and transportation assistance, family support services, and Naloxone training.
“OCHH is another weapon in the arsenal in our war against the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder. We will continue to explore natural intersections between law enforcement and those individuals struggling from substance use disorder. With support of our community partners, we will make progress in our ongoing effort to effectively combat the opioid epidemic in Ocean County,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
For more information, call 732-929-2027 or visit ocponj.gov