New Jersey's 7th Legislative District

Senator Diane Allen

Senator Diane Allen

Allen Lauds Governor’s Support for Addicted Moms & Infants, Vows to Continue Fighting for Increased Funding

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Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) today thanked Governor Christie for taking action to provide $5 million in funding for treatment for new mothers struggling with substance abuse and infants who are born addicted to drugs. Before the Governor unveiled his $200 million spending proposal this week, Senator Allen had requested an identical appropriation be included in the FY 2018 State budget.

Sen. Diane Allen vowed to fight for funding to support mothers and infants coping with addiction, and thanked Gov. Christie for including funding for them in his new spending proposal to combat the opioid epidemic. The funding in his plan mirrors an appropriation she fought for in the FY18 State budget. (Wikimedia Commons)

Specifically, Allen’s proposed FY 2018 line item would have appropriated $5 million for a competitive grant program administered by DHS to health providers treating infants born addicted to drugs. It was ultimately not included in the final budget.

“I fought tirelessly throughout the State budget process to convince the governor and Legislative leadership to make a solid investment in caring for infants and mothers who are coping with the disease of addiction,” Senator Allen said. “I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to see this funding included in the Governor’s new program to fight the opioid epidemic.”

Senator Allen stated that she also hoped there would be a competitive grant program for health providers using innovative treatments on babies born addicted to drugs. She noted that she authored a second proposed line item in the budget to establish such a grant program. Allen also pushed for New Jersey to look at states using innovate treatments, such as California, where providers are reportedly using alternative treatment methods with astounding, life-changing results.

“My heart breaks for innocent children who are born addicted to drugs. They did not ask for this. We have a responsibility to explore every possible solution to this crisis, especially nontraditional and non-pharmaceutical treatments,” Senator Allen added. “For so many, the old ways of treating this disease are not working. The state should do more to give these children and their parents a better shot at a healthy future.

“New Jersey is home to some of the most prestigious hospitals and medical schools in the country. This is the perfect place to launch the next revolutionary treatment program, but we can’t do that without investing in those who are on the cutting edge.”

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