(The Center Square) – New Jersey has been given more than $66 million to combat the opioid epidemic.
The money comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a release from Democratic U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker says. A release from HHS says the New Jersey State Department of Human Services in Trenton was awarded $66,756,027 through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which pushed more than $1.4 billion to 58 states and territories in its State Opioid Response program.
The state response program has a formula for funding, the federal release says. It seeks to increase support for prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery support services for opioid use disorder and other concurrent substance use disorders.
Among the benefits is funding for the state, if it chooses, to buy and distribute naloxone, the overdose-reversing medication becoming more and more readily available across the country.
New Jersey drug overdose deaths in 2021 numbered 24,597, the senators’ release says. Nationwide, overdose deaths were up 15% on 2020.
In the release from the congressmen, Booker said, “The opioid epidemic has taken a devastating toll on all New Jersey communities. This federal funding will expand our ability to tackle this crisis head-on and offer those facing addiction the resources they need.”
Menendez added, “We know that the opioid crisis has impacted individuals from all communities and all corners of our state. This grant funding will help support the state’s efforts in battling this epidemic through treatment and prevention as we work to lower the number of lives lost to opioids.”