On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the commitment of his administration to a patient-centered, evidence-based approach to tackle the opioid epidemic that took the lives of 3,163 New Jerseyans in 2018 alone.
The programs and initiatives described during the event, hosted by Cooper University Health Care, included programs to increase access to evidence-based prevention and treatment in the community, supporting individuals in recovery, improving data-systems and infrastructure systems for addiction services, and stemming the supply of illicit drugs through law enforcement.
“Medicaid will be building Centers of Excellence for opioid treatment with two initial locations: number one in Newark through Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and, it’s not a coincidence that we’re right here in Camden, next to the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University,” said Governor Murphy. “Essex County and Camden County, unfortunately, are the number one and two counties of [highest] opioid deaths. Tragically, there’s no smarter place to put these Centers of Excellence. There’s no better medical facility or medical school in the state than Cooper, so it is an honor and we are thrilled to be here today.”
In addition to Governor Murphy, today’s event included representatives from the New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Department of Human Services, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, New Jersey Department of Labor, and the New Jersey Department of Corrections.