Murphy advances $100M commitment to tackle N.J.’s opioid crisis

Gov. Phil Murphy outlined Tuesday his public health plan to commit $100 million to address the opioid epidemic in New Jersey.

The funds will come directly from his Fiscal Year 2019 budget and require multiple agencies in on the effort.

According to a news release from the governor, overdose deaths have surged in the Garden State with more than 2,200 resident deaths between 2016 and 2017.

“Every day, the scourge of opioids is tearing apart our families and decimating communities throughout New Jersey,” Murphy said. “We recognize that addiction is a treatable illness and with the right resources for prevention, treatment and recovery, we can help those struggling with the disease restore their lives.”

The announcement came during a visit to the Rescue Mission of Trenton, an organization that provides counseling and support services for substance abuse treatment.

The administrations strategy, it said, will be data driven with interagency collaboration to provide greater access to community-based treatment.

Murphy’s public health plan includes:

$56 million to prevention, treatment and recovery:

A major portion of this funding ($38.5 million) will be used to develop a coordinated and comprehensive approach that includes expanded and improved access to community-based outpatient programs. Through this and other initiatives, some of the most vulnerable populations will be actively targeted.

$31 million to social risk factors:

Funding includes: $12 million for supportive housing for high-risk families through the Keeping Families Together program; $5 million for supportive housing for individuals with opioid use disorder and substance use disorder; and $5 million for employment training and support.

$13 million to infrastructure and data:

About $10 million of this will go toward infrastructure building for the state’s addictions system, specifically including development of electronic health records and workforce development and training.