NJ Politics Digest: Murphy Details Plans for $100 Million Opioid Fight

NORWICH, CT - MARCH 23: Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display on March 23, 2016 in Norwich, CT. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced guidelines for doctors to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed, in an effort to curb the epidemic. The CDC estimates that most new heroin addicts first became hooked on prescription pain medication before graduating to heroin, which is stronger and cheaper.

Oxycodone pain pills. John Moore/Getty Images

With thousands of New Jersey residents dying of overdoses annually, Gov. Phil Murphy has announced a $100 million plan to fight the ongoing opioid epidemic.

The plan includes $56 million for prevention, treatment and recovery programs, $31 million to address “social risk factors,” such as unemployment and homelessness, and $13 million on improving record keeping and gathering data to help in the fight against addiction.

While most of the money will go toward maintaining or expanding existing programs, Murphy on Tuesday touted the efforts to improve data-gathering as a major step forward in anti-addiction efforts, according to NJ.com.

Murphy says improved data gathering and analysis will allow the state to better target its anti-opioid efforts. More than 2,200 New Jersey residents died of overdoses between 2016 and 2017, according to the governor’s office.

One thing Murphy’s plan doesn’t call for—television commericials featuring the governor.

In the waning days of his administration, former Gov. Chris Christie placed himself in a series of commericals about combatting addiction, leading to attacks by critics who said the money would be better spent on addiction treatment programs.

Quote of the Day: “I’m not trying to block any agenda. We have a structural problem with this government. There is a major structural problem financially.” — Senate President Steve Sweeney, on his relationship with Gov. Phil Murphy.

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NJ Politics Digest: Murphy Details Plans for $100 Million Opioid Fight