State leaders are applauding recent efforts to curb New Jersey’s opioid epidemic. Earlier this year, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that a multistate opioid settlement with drug manufacturers and distributors would send $641 million to the state, which would be used to develop programs and services to assist affected communities. Advocates say it’s important the money from the settlement be allocated toward harm reduction services, especially in Black and brown communities that were historically targeted in the war on drugs.
According to the State Medical Examiner’s office, some 3,100 people died of a suspected drug overdose in 2021. As of Nov. 7, there have been nearly 2,500 drug overdose deaths in New Jersey this year.
Some of the funds from the settlement have already been received. The state is creating an advisory team of people who have been impacted by the opioid crisis to weigh in on which programs will best help their communities.
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