New Jersey

Local anti-drug center weighs in on Gov. Christie's anti-opioid fight

TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's fight against opioid abuse is gaining momentum.

Last week, he signed legislation requiring doctors to discuss the possibility of addiction when prescribing pain killers to minors.

Addiction treatment professionals are hopeful the governor's plan is a step in the right direction to curbing the growing problem.

"To be able to treat people when they first seek services is key," said Richard McDonnell of Family Guidance Center in Warren Co., NJ.

McDonnell has been the center's executive director for 10 years and said he applauds Christie's plan.

"From our perspective, we welcome Governor Christie's initiatives to really put a spotlight on [addiction]," McDonnel said.

Governor Christie outlined his plan to combat heroin and opioid abuse during his final State of the State address in January.

During that address, he called for insurance reform and asked lawmakers to pass a bill that would require insurance companies to cover the first months of inpatient and outpatient treatment.

Richard McDonnell said fighting drug abuse in the community first is important and hopes centers like Family Guidance will also see additional funding from the Governor's proposals.

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