The NeuroMusculoskeletal Institute at Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, which has been designated by the State of New Jersey as a Center of Excellence for Medication Assisted Treatment for individuals with opiate use disorders, proposes a partnership with Maryville Addiction Treatment Center to engage 300 high-risk African American and Hispanic men into substance use treatment, including recovery support, HIV/hepatitis testing, and linkage to care.
In 2017, drug overdoses killed more than 70,000 individuals nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, the drug overdose death rate in New Jersey increased 29% from the previous year, the largest in the nation. In the same year, New Jersey ranked eighth in the nation with 37,411 people living with HIV. The geographic catchment area for the project will be eight counties in New Jersey with the highest opiate overdose deaths and highest HIV rates. These counties include Essex, Hudson, Union, Passaic, Mercer, Camden, Atlantic, and Cumberland. Of New Jerseys 21 counties, these eight counties accounted for 49% of all drug overdose deaths, 48% of all admissions to substance use disorders treatment, and 45% (16,800) of all people living with HIV in New Jersey. African American and Hispanic men are disproportionately affected by HIV in New Jersey, with 37% living in the eight-county region. Community surveillance has identified a sub-population of men in New Jersey who simultaneously inject opiates (to relieve pain) and inhale crack cocaine (to increase sexual arousal) and participate in unprotected, receptive anal sex with African American and Hispanic men in exchange for money or drugs who are targeted through the project.
The goals of this project are designed to align with the required activities listed in the funding opportunity announcement, including 1) engaging 300 African American and Hispanic men of New Jersey with substance use disorders and co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders that are living with or at high-risk for HIV into treatment at Maryville Addiction Treatment Center; 2) increasing the number of men with substance use disorders who know their HIV and hepatitis B/C status and are linked to medical care based on their status; and 3) providing recovery support for the men throughout their continuum of care and into the community for up to one year using an evidence-based recovery coaching model that integrates strength-based case management with motivational interviewing and contingency management. All participants will have access to FDA-approved medications for treatment of substance use and mental health disorders and will receive overdose prevention education as part of their treatment program. The project has formed a large collaborative of major health systems in New Jersey that can provide medical care to the men. Rowans NeuroMusculoskeletal Institute will provide access to HIV and hepatitis testing and access to MAT. Maryville will provide substance use disorders treatment based on the mens assessed level of need and recovery coaching. The project will be evaluated by the Rutgers University Center for Prevention Science.