Opioid Crisis

Ang Santos / WBGO

St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson implemented a program in 2016 that researches and uses certain pain management methods, as an alternative to prescription opioids. 

“At a time where we have a national crisis, at a time where we have models some of which are here in New Jersey that we know work.  We should be funding those models and expanding those lessons learned,” New Jersey US Senator Cory Booker said. He’s calling for federal funding to create alternative pain management programs in hospital emergency departments nationwide.

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.

  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says it’s time to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the opioid epidemic.

“Those who created the problem have to feel the consequences, change their ways and finally address the damage they have done.  The suit targets seven manufacturers and three distributors who are most responsible for creating this crisis.”

He says they deceived the public, while putting lives at risk, all for the sake of profits.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The Office of the New Jersey Medical Examiner says there were more than 2,000 drug related deaths in New Jersey last year.  A majority related to drugs like heroin and its stronger synthetic counterpart fentanyl.  Dr. Andrew Kaufman with the University Hospital Comprehensive Pain Center in Newark says the state’s northern counties have had better success dealing with overdose.