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News Release

   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   November 15, 2001

George T. DiFerdinando, Jr., MD, MPH
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Dennis McGowan

DiFrancesco Announces New Substance Abuse Program for
Those Affected By World Trade Center Disaster

Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco announced today that a new statewide program is offering substance abuse counseling telephone hotline services at 1-800-238-2333 - for New Jersey residents who were affected by the events of September 11th.

"The September 11th tragedy affected everyone differently and everyone is coping differently," said DiFrancesco. "There is experience showing that drug and alcohol abuse increases after large scale disasters. This new program can provide professional and confidential help for those that need it."

The program, "World Trade Center: New Jersey Recovers," offers substance abuse counseling services to family members of someone lost to the Sept. 11th event; survivors of the WTC collapse; people who witnessed the attack or collapse in person.; rescuers, police, firefighters or constructions workers who assisted in the recovery efforts at the WTC; and persons who lost a job at the WTC area.

Any one who would like to use the services can call the toll-free telephone number to speak with a counselor or arrange for a person-to-person visit. Counselors are located in areas covering Monmouth, Mercer, Middlesex, Union, Somerset, Morris, Essex, Passaic, Hudson and Bergen counties.

The telephone hotline is open 24 hours a day and offers bilingual services for people who speak Spanish. Counselors and staff are provided by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services through a $1.6 million grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

"These services are not only for people who have increased substance abuse after Sept. 11, but also who were trying to quit and have slid back since the World Trade Center attack," said acting Health and Senior Services Commissioner George T. DiFerdinando, MD. "The Department's counselors can provide many types of help-they can talk people through a stressful time; make referrals for people who need additional help or simply offer a calm and friendly voice."

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Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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