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Gov. Murphy announces over $1.6 million in county innovation grants to combat the opioid epidemic

BAYVILLE, NJ (Ocean County) – Recognizing the continued public health crisis of opioid addiction in our communities, Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday reiterated his administration’s commitment to combating the opioid epidemic during a roundtable with individuals in recovery and health professionals at Ocean Mental Health Services in Bayville.

Preliminary overdose death data for January 2020 show that suspected drug-related deaths have decreased 2.8 percent from December 2019, an overall downward trend since November 2019, resulting in 280 lives lost just last month.

“These numbers are a reminder we must stay vigilant in our work,” Murphy said. “Each resident lost to the epidemic is a loved one gone too soon. This crisis requires us to pursue smart and compassionate policies laser-focused on solutions – increased availability of medication-assisted treatment, greater access to Naloxone, education and outreach to residents in need, and enhanced social supports for those on the path to and working to maintain their recovery, like housing and employment services.”

Murphy and cabinet members highlighted the administration’s comprehensive, multi-pronged effort to combat the opioid epidemic – including increasing access to evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, supporting individuals on their path to and maintenance of recovery, supporting data-driven work and strengthening system-wide infrastructure, and using robust law enforcement to stem the supply of illicit drugs – to advance the statewide response to the opioid crisis.

Murphy also announced $1.67 million in County Innovation Awards to Address the Opioid Epidemic, which is the first disbursement of a $3 million county-based innovation grant award program supported by $100 million in funding through Fiscal Year 2020 budget. This funding, distributed through the Department of Human Services, provides local leaders the opportunity to fund innovative projects that reflect the needs of their communities in addressing the opioid epidemic, including areas such as opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery.

The twelve awardees are:

CountyGrant AmountProgram Description
Burlington$134,615Supporting the development of a resource recovery center with a focus on peer supports
Camden$190,039Expanding access to medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder
Cape May$35,751Launching a peer recovery center
Cumberland$71,777Supporting early intervention and recovery supports
Hudson$203,963Building recovery supports for youth and young adults
Mercer$140,000Expanding access to medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder
Monmouth$226,366Creating peer supports to engage people in treatment and recovery
Morris$151,505Intervening with individuals with opioid use disorder in pre-trial diversion
Ocean$229,936Targeting stigma through education and building recovery supports including focusing on the role of transportation in accessing treatment
Salem$24,795Create recovery coach services to build community connections for individuals with opioid use disorder
Somerset$94,967Supporting pregnant women/new moms with substance use disorder through a focus on wellness
Union$170,574Leveraging the county’s community needs assessment to fill identified gaps in social services for individuals with opioid use disorder


Additionally, Murphy announced the relaunch of Reach NJ, a public service initiative managed by the Department of Human Services, to encourage people to seek help for addiction, with messaging based on input from individuals in recovery and families of individuals with addiction.

At the roundtable discussion, New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson also announced that to date more than 53,000 free doses of Narcan, the lifesaving antidote naloxone, have been distributed to approximately 424 police departments statewide, as well as approximately 400 free doses of naloxone to the staff of New Jersey public libraries.

To learn more about the Administration’s work to combat the opioid epidemic, click here.

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Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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