N.J. Drug and Alcohol Treatment Providers Learn to Kick Butts, Too
St. Peter's Medical Center, New Brunswick, N.J., set up a statewide training program to help drug and alcohol treatment providers develop nicotine treatment protocols. At the time of the first grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), only a small number of drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers treated nicotine addiction in their patients and staff.
During the course of the two grants, project staff:
- Produced and distributed a 200-page manual to guide treatment center staff in implementing tobacco-free policies.
- Produced and distributed a tobacco-related slide show, quarterly newsletter, and resource directory for substance abuse professionals.
- Marketed the project model and products to out-of-state policymakers and professionals.
- Provided technical assistance on tobacco-free policy development to 514 drug and alcohol treatment programs.
- Sponsored six annual conferences and offered eight two-day "Train the Trainer" workshops on nicotine addiction for substance abuse professionals.
- Provided regular consultation and support to 16 public and private agencies and organizations interested in smoking cessation and prevention.
In November 1999, New Jersey issued new licensing regulations that require all substance abuse prevention and treatment programs in the state to:
- Provide services in a smoke-free environment.
- Integrate tobacco issues into the training curricula for drug and alcohol counselors.
- Identify tobacco users and develop a treatment plan for all diagnosed tobacco problems.
- The N.J. Department of Health co-funded the project and, as of February 2000, continued to support ongoing project activities.
Throughout the project, staff made dozens of formal and informal presentations to state policymakers, drug and alcohol addiction treatment professionals, and members of special interest groups. In addition, staff published four articles in professional substance abuse journals, including the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.