What is Operation SAL?
In 2014, Operation SAL is offered by the Camden County Board of Freeholders. It is a groundbreaking pilot program that is providing critical treatment services to those battling the grip of opiate and heroin addiction. The program aims to provide medication assisted treatment with intensive outpatient services for anyone that has survived an overdose and is waiting for a treatment bed.
In 2017, the program expanded to include detox, short-term residential as well as medication assisted treatment (methadone).
In partnership with law enforcement and our four area health care providers, this program provides the next step after a life is saved by a first responder. The goal of the program is to initiate a “warm hand off” to substance abuse treatment providers within 72 hours of the overdose.
This innovative program is being coordinated by the Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force, which has put a number of educational and preventive initiatives into service after it was commissioned in May of 2014.
Operation SAL is named after Sal Marchese, who passed away in 2010, and is the son of task force member Patty DiRenzo. SAL is also an acronym for save-a-life. DiRenzo has been a statewide advocate and an outstanding resource on the issue of heroin and opiate addiction. In 2013, she worked with the state to pass the Overdose Prevention Act.
Kennedy Health, Virtua Health System, Cooper University Health Care, and Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center all are participating in the program.
For more information please call the Addictions Warmline at (877) 266-6222 or Camden County Department of Health & Human Services at (856) 374-6361.