The Epidemic in New Jersey

The opioid use disorder epidemic is among the most urgent public health threats in America and its effects have been acutely felt in New Jersey. The number of drug-related deaths continues to rise in the United States and in New Jersey, with deaths in 2017 up more than 34 percent from the previous year.

New Jersey residents succumbing to opioid use disorder fit no stereotype. They are men and women from all backgrounds and represent all age groups. Urban areas in New Jersey tend to see slightly more drug-related deaths, but the problem is spread across the state. Cities, suburbs and rural towns are all feeling the impact of opioid use.

This problem has been exacerbated by the increased use of fentanyl. Fentanyl is an incredibly powerful synthetic opioid that is often mixed with other opioids to make them more powerful. Authorities say fentanyl is largely responsible for the recent spike in opioid-related deaths. One unique aspect of the biobank will be an in-depth toxicology assessment to measure fentanyl and fentanyl derivatives in the blood.

Leaders in New Jersey have responded to the crisis by establishing a number of resources for citizens affected by opioid use disorder.  You can visit or call the 24-hour hotline at (844) 732-2465 to learn more.