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Gov. Christie honored with behavioral health group's award

July 28, 2012
by Gary Enos
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 New Jersey’s high-profile governor continues to gain attention for prioritizing issues related to addiction. The statewide association representing addiction and mental health service providers this week honored Gov. Chris Christie with a Leadership in Fighting Stigma Award, for what it called “uncommon understanding and leadership of the issue of addictions.”

Christie appeared with the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc. (NJAMHAA) to accept the award on July 27. He said as part of his comments upon receiving the award, “Each life is precious and with the right approach and broad spectrum of treatment opportunities, individuals dealing with mental health and addiction can turn their lives around with dignity, bringing peace of mind and hope to their families.”

Christie, frequently mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for vice president this year or a seeker of the presidency in 2016 if Mitt Romney is not elected this year, indicated his preferred approach for managing nonviolent offenders with substance use problems by advancing a mandatory treatment proposal as part of his State of the State message this year.

That stance surprised some observers, but others pointed out that Christie and his wife have long been involved directly with programs and causes around addiction, including Christie’s past service as a board member for New Jersey treatment organization Daytop Village.