New Jersey has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic in the US. In 2017, New Jersey was twelfth in the nation in overdose deaths, with 30 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to the national rate of 21.7. That’s more than 2,600 people in 2017 alone. The opioid crisis has also taken a huge economic toll on New Jersey. Since 1999, the opioid crisis has cost the state more than 22,000 lost workers and more than 17 billion dollars in economic growth. In 2017, more than twice as many Camden County residents sought treatment for opioids as for alcohol and more than half of people seeking help for substance use disorders sought help for heroin and other opioids.

Drug Overdoses in Camden County and Cherry Hill, New Jersey

As noted above, New Jersey outpaces the rest of the US in fatal opioid overdoses by nearly 50 percent. What’s more, that number keeps increasing every year. Between 2016 and 2017, opioid overdoses in New Jersey increased by nearly 30 percent. That’s just the most recent increase in a trend that began more than 15 years ago. A big reason for recent increases in opioid overdoses is that heroin is more frequently laced with synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which are cheaper and far more potent than heroin and opioid painkillers. Even as heroin deaths leveled off across the country, synthetic opioid deaths spiked.

Treatment Centers in Camden County and Cherry Hill, New Jersey

There have been several key factors in responding to the opioid crisis. One has been to make opioid painkillers harder to obtain. This reduces addiction in a number of ways. First, it reduces exposure to addictive drugs. Many people who became addicted to opioids started by using prescription painkillers following a surgery or medical procedure. Many people were prescribed much more than they should have been, such as a month’s supply of Vicodin following a wisdom tooth extraction, for example. These people may never have otherwise been exposed to opioids. Second, fewer prescriptions mean there are fewer excess pills floating around for people to sell or experiment with.

Another major response to the opioid crisis has been to increase treatment options. Many people in rural areas don’t have access to evidence-based treatment and often these areas are where people need treatment the most. There are also new ways to pay for treatment, including more flexibility in using government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

In New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions offers a holistic approach to addiction treatment. We recognize that everyone faces different challenges when it comes to overcoming substance use issues and we believe in an individual approach that treats the mind, body, and spirit.

To learn more about our holistic approach to recovering from addiction in New Jersey, explore our website or call us at 833-801-LIVE.