New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's proposed state budget includes $100 million to combat the opioid epidemic.
Murphy says $56 million would be used for drug prevention, treatment, and recovery programs.
"We know that coordinated approaches that bring together treatment including access to medication assisted treatment and peer-based recovery coaching can be highly effective."
The Governor says $31 million would be used to attack social risk factors that can lead to relapse.
“We would provide funding for supportive housing to ensure individuals in recovery have a safe place to live and for job training and workforce development so they can get back on their own feet for the long term. We want these residents to be a part of our economic revitalization.”
$13 million would fund an integrated data system to ensure the patients' needs are addressed.
Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal says the administration will consider all strategies that are effective.
“The funding is not about any single program or any particular department. Rather we are taking an organized coordinated data-drive multi-agency approach to eradicate an epidemic that took the lives of 2200 victims in 2016.”
Murphy says he won’t spend state funds on anti-opioid TV ads featuring the governor.
"60-year-old guys talking to young kids about addiction and the perils of addiction does not work. I did hear some pretty cool ideas, social media and otherwise, where there's peer-to-peer opportunities. That's something potentially that I'd be open minded to."
Former Governor Chris Christie committed $200 million to fighting the opioid crisis last year, but Murphy says far less than that was actually spent.
“I think of the $200 million it was mid-cycle in the budget, it was unused funds is a more elegant word for that, and I think at the end of the day only $90 million of that as I recall went out the door.”