The NJ Department of Human Services
The New Jersey Department of Human Services provides health care and food aid to 2.1 million residents of New Jersey. This represents about one in five residents of the state and one out of three children.
People with disabilities, older adults, children and families, and people with low income levels are all served by NJ DHS.
How the New Jersey Department of Human Services Helps NJ Residents
Every state in the United States has a Department of Human Services. These departments provide social services to a range of people who have disabilities or low income levels.
In New Jersey, there are several groups that are supported by various food or health care social services provided by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, including:
- People with developmental disabilities.
- Late-onset disabilities like age-related blindness.
- People who are blind, visually impaired, or hearing impaired.
- Individuals with low income levels.
- Children and families with low incomes.
- Parents in need of childcare services, health care for children, or child support.
- Older adults with low income and significant health care needs.
- People with substance use disorders or mental health disorders.
- Families facing catastrophic medical expenses for their children.
There are eight divisions providing these services for those in need, including health insurance through the NJ FamilyCare program or the state’s management of the federal Medicaid program. There is also food assistance through NJ SNAP, personal care services, support for older adults’ independent living, and other offerings.
People who struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol can get help through the New Jersey Department of Human Services, through the Department of Addiction Services (DAS). The overseeing body for both addiction and mental health treatment is the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), created in 2011.
There is also a newer program called ReachNJ, which provides immediate help through a hotline and a website. Users can get referrals from live, New Jersey-based addiction counselors. This help is offered regardless of your insurance status.
DHS Divisions Dedicated to Addiction Treatment and Help
The following programs are offered through the Department of Addiction Services:
- Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP): This section of the Department of Addiction Services offers post-conviction interventions for people who have been convicted on charges of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other drugs. This program is a partnership between DHS, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC).
The program details, educates, and screens people who need help overcoming substance abuse. It also suspends licenses and manages other issues associated with ensuring public safety.
- Prevention and early intervention services: Studies from around the country show that educating children and teenagers on the risks of substances reduces the extent and harm of substance abuse. The NJ Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) helps drug education programs by awarding funding to providers through requests for proposals (RFPs).
DMHAS collaborates on prevention and intervention services with county alcohol & drug abuse directors, county mental health administrators, and various other federal, state, local, and county government organizations. They promote an evidence-based prevention model, based on guidelines from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- Treatment services: New Jersey provides treatment services for people who want to overcome addiction to opioids, alcohol, and other drugs. There are detox, outpatient services, short-term and long-term residential treatment, and other options.
There are also mental health services, including supportive education, inpatient and outpatient treatment, supportive employment and housing help, and early intervention or prevention options.
Addiction and mental health treatment options use the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) continuum of care criteria to provide appropriate services based on severity of the underlying health concern.
- Recovery support: Aftercare and ongoing support for sobriety are increasingly becoming part of addiction treatment. New Jersey’s Department of Human Services has developed supportive housing, peer support recommendations, and Consumer and Recovery Advocate assistance to navigate the system after detox and rehabilitation have been completed.
Support for the Community of New Jersey
The New Jersey Department of Human Services provides a range of important programs to those who need assistance due to financial, physical, or mental constraints. These programs are important to ensuring the public is healthy and supported.
Many departments within the Department of Human Services support mental health, addiction treatment, recovery, and early intervention services. Thanks to this support, many New Jersey residents are able to access the assistance they need.