NJ opioid deaths up in January as governor announces local grants to combat addiction

David Madden
February 04, 2020 - 4:56 pm
 Governor Phil Murphy holds a roundtable discussion on combating the opioid epidemic at Ocean Mental Health Services in Bayville, New Jersey.

OIT/NJ Governor's Office

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BAYVILLE, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy held a roundtable discussion in Ocean County Tuesday that was centered on the state’s continuing battle with opioid addiction. 

Flanked by state agency leaders on a number of fronts, local legislators, and people who deal with the issue day to day, the governor lamented the latest monthly report on opioid deaths in the state: 280 in January. 

That’s up from 203 when 2019 started.

"We are analyzing real time the January fatalities, trying to make sure we understand what’s going on,” Murphy said. “The data drives our programs. So if we see something in that data that suggests that we need to tweak our approach, we will do it.”

This came as annual data for all of 2019 dropped by three percent compared to the year before.

The administration announced updated efforts to control the problem, including almost $1.7 million in grants going to a dozen counties for local approaches.  

Health and Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson added, “What we said to county leaders across the state was ‘tell us what your ideas are for local solutions that meet the needs in your community and we will fund local initiatives.’”

Camden County will receive $190,000 to expand a treatment program while Burlington County is getting $135,000 to develop a resource recovery center with a focus on peer support. 

Over $100,000 will be split between two different projects in Cape May and Cumberland counties.

The state is also putting Narcan in hands of more cops, with 53,000 new doses going to over 400 departments.