N.J. infuses some counties with cash for ‘local solutions’ to the opioid crisis

Governor Phil Murphy holds a roundtable discussion on combating the opioid epidemic at Ocean Mental Health Services in Bayville, New Jersey, on February 4, 2020. (Governor's Office)

Governor Phil Murphy holds a roundtable discussion on combating the opioid epidemic at Ocean Mental Health Services in Bayville, New Jersey, on February 4, 2020. (Governor's Office)

Camden County will get $190,000 to expand access to medication assisted treatment. Hudson County will spend $203,000 on new recovery efforts for young people.

In all, twelve counties across New Jersey will receive a share of nearly $1.7 million in grant funding for programs to combat the opioid crisis.

Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said the “county innovation awards” were a way for Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration to be more responsive to the specific needs of local communities.

“There are local solutions here. There are ways we can be better supporting local avenues and innovations at the local level,” Johnson said.

It comes after Murphy recently announced that New Jersey saw a slight dip in drug overdose deaths in 2019 compared to the year before.

But Murphy added that 280 people died from overdoses in January, according to preliminary data, which is an uptick from the same month last year.

“We think this is the direction we need to be headed,” Murphy said. “[But] 280 lives lost last month is 280 lives — precious lives — too many. So we are far from the finish line.”

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