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Pinkin & Mukherji Bill Requiring Recovery Housing Programs in Certain Colleges Signed into Law

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Nancy Pinkin and Raj Mukherji to provide a substance-free housing environment for New Jersey college students recovering from substance abuse was signed into law on Monday.

“College can be a precarious place for students recovering from alcohol or drug abuse,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “This new law helps to ensure that students who are in recovery will benefit from a supportive environment away from temptation and where they’ll have access to services tailored to their needs.”

“Staying clean can be a daily struggle. The freedom and social pressures faced by students in college can make the difficult situation of coping with substance abuse and addiction even more challenging,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “The new law will provide students with the environment and supportive services needed for recovery and enable them to achieve academic success.”

The new law (A-3719) directs each four-year public institution of higher education, in which at least 25 percent of undergraduate students live in on-campus housing, to establish a substance abuse recovery housing program. The purpose of the program is to provide a supportive substance-free dormitory environment that recognizes the unique risks and challenges that recovering students’ face.

The program will support students in their efforts to remain substance-free via on-site counseling, mentoring, peer support and other appropriate services. Under the new law, an institution has four years to develop the substance abuse recovery housing program. An institution may choose to designate a floor, wing or other area within a dormitory building and is not be required to assign an entire dormitory building to this purpose.

The General Assembly approved the legislation in June, 72-0-1.