NJ Politics Digest: Cutting Prescriptions Didn’t Lead to Drop in Overdose Deaths

There were 2,750 overdose deaths in New Jersey in 2017, compared to 2,221 the year before.

There were 2,750 overdose deaths in New Jersey in 2017, compared to 2,221 the year before. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Overdose deaths rose to a level of almost eight per day in New Jersey in 2017, even as the number of opioid prescriptions sank below five million annually for the first time in recent memory.

Those sad statistics help illustrate just how serious the opioid epidemic remains in the state, according to a report by The Record.

There were 2,750 overdose deaths in New Jersey in 2017, compared to 2,221 the year before. For 2018, deaths are expected to be about 3,000, the report said.

A little more than half of the 2017 deaths involved fentanyl or analogues of the synthetic opioid, according to the report.

The report notes that the administration of Gov. Phil Murphy has a $100 million plan to combat opioid abuse. Part of the work involves building on efforts by former Gov. Chris Christie, who had made fighting addiction a focus of his final year in office.

Quote of the Day: “It feels like what the state wants is ‘Come in, get beer and get out.’ That’s not what the craft brewery community is all about.” — Sean Galie, co-owner and head brewer of Lower Forge Brewery in Medford.

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NJ Politics Digest: Cutting Prescriptions Didn’t Lead to Drop in Overdose Deaths