Rutgers University Launches First Drug Counselor Program

In the midst of a drug epidemic sweeping the nation, largely fueled by opioid abuse, Rutgers Recovery Program Launches First Drug Counselor Program. Rutgers collegiate recovery program will initiate an apprenticeship program to train Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors. This will be the first time in the nation that such a program has been presented in the earn-while-you-learn model, according to the news site The state university of New Jersey will receive $1.3 million in state funding to secure this program.

Chris Christie on Rutgers Collegiate Recovery Program

who has been a prominent voice of reform to address this epidemic, was present on campus for the announced plans of the program. “One of my priorities has been to put more certified alcohol and drug counselors on the ground to tackle the disease of addiction one person at a time,” Christie said. “This successful program creates a pathway for those interested in helping those with substance use disorder through paid on-the-job training. Thank you to Rutgers Collegiate Recovery Program and [Rutgers] President Barchi in seeing this need and partnering with us to provide this crucial training throughout the state.”

According to the same news article, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a growth of 20 percent growth in employment of substance abuse and behavioral counselors from 2016 to 2026, which far exceeds the projected average increase of all other professions.The state grant will allow for the school to train around 200 new Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors in 2018. New Jersey Labor and Workforce Development will contribute up to $6,000 per worker, with their employer matching half of the training cost. For its part, Rutgers will assist with job placement following completion of on-the-job training and passing of the certification exam.

While every state in the nation has been affected by the opioid epidemic, New Jersey has been hit exceptionally hard, with over an estimated 2,000 deaths in 2016 alone. While most of these deaths are attributable to heroin and synthetic opioids, new and incredibly dangerous opioid cocktails, such as “grey death”, have plagued the state as well.

Serenity Springs applauds this crucial step in Rutgers Collegiate Recovery Program and New Jersey’s continued endeavor to fight the opioid epidemic. It is our hope the rest of our country’s local leaders, universities and institutions similarly follow suit to further efforts to bolster education and assistance to treat the disease of addiction, rather than relying on a punitive, non-rehabilitative approach that has proven to be both ineffective and misguided. Serenity Springs is proud of its New Jersey roots, with board members and employees having been born and raised there and we are pleased that important headway is being made in the Garden State.

If you or a loved one is battling drug addiction or alcoholism, please do not hesitate to contact us.