Last week New Jersey Governor Chris Christie held a candlelight vigil, “Bringing Addiction Out of the Shadows and Into the Light” at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J., to remember those lost to addiction and encourage those struggling to get help.

New Jersey lost approximately 1,900 residents due to fatal heroin or opioid overdose in 2016, and 2017 statistics appear to be even grimmer.

Christie has made fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic one of his top priorities during his last few years in office. He established the ReachNJ hotline, which helps those seeking treatment and detoxification find a bed, and earlier this year announced plans to expand recovery coaching programs at hospitals for overdose victims.

On a national level, Christie chairs the White House’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Last month the commission released a 131-page final report with 56 recommendations based on input from doctors, policymakers, public health advocates and individuals and families affected by addiction.

Some of the recommendations in the commission’s final report include:

• Increasing block grant federal funding for opioid-related and substance use disorder-related activities for every state
• Improving data sharing among state-based prescription drug monitoring programs and the Department of Justice
• Requiring prescribers to go through approved and continuous training before they can be licensed to prescribe opioids
• Investing more research and development into finding pain management alternatives to opioids
• Providing more resources for opioid addiction treatment, overdose reversal and recovery

Guardian Recovery Network’s newest venture, the Princeton Detox & Recovery Center, will open in spring 2018, just miles from where the vigil was held.

Princeton Detox is a direct response to the heroin and opioid epidemic that has devastated this part of the country. New Jerseyans are in desperate need of a resource that helps those battling addiction recover, and we hope Princeton Detox can serve as part of the solution.

We will be offering our medically-supervised detox and addiction recovery services to patients who are ready to seek treatment. Based on Guardian Recovery Network’s commitment to elevated treatment standards and a staff that serves as advocates for patients, Princeton Detox will be the safest, most comprehensive way to recovery. Patients and their families can rest assured knowing that they are receiving the highest quality care from an addiction recovery center with decades of experience and accolades.

Although Christie will be leaving office early next year, he’s pledged to continue fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic, and Guardian Recovery Network is equally committed to advocating for the cause.