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HomenewsNew Jersey is on Track to Witness an Increase in Overdose Deaths...

New Jersey is on Track to Witness an Increase in Overdose Deaths Not Seen Since 2017.

According to statistics compiled by the New Jersey State Police, there were 2,422 drug overdose deaths in Garden State as of October 31. This works out to 242 deaths per month.

If the trend continues, 2019 will be the first year since 2017 in which the number of drug overdose deaths in New Jersey falls below 2,900.

The NJSP Office of Drug Monitoring & Analysis reported Thursday that the state is on track to see a significant reduction in the number of overdose deaths compared to 2021.

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While October was above average, November was below average for New Jersey, and December is expected to be “a little bit of a better month as well,” said Captain Jason Piotrowski.

“About 8% to 8.5% loss is expected (year over year). While we’d like to hear more encouraging news, “Piotrowski stated.

The number of deaths was 3,124 in 2017. In 2020, there were 3,050.

According to data collected by the New Jersey State Police during the month of October, the number of fatal overdoses has decreased in the vast majority of the state’s counties.

The number of drug-related deaths in Hunterdon County decreased from 27 to 14, while those in Union County decreased from 132 to 92. Ocean, Cape May, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, and Sussex counties all saw drops in population of at least 20%.

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In Cumberland County, the number of overdose deaths is up somewhat over the same period in 2021. Increases were also seen in Atlantic, Camden, Gloucester, and Warren counties.

During a webinar hosted by The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, Piotrowski presented the overdose data and advocated for more funding to be allocated toward reducing racial disparities.

Black/African American people only make up roughly 12% of the Garden State’s populace, but 28% of the state’s drug overdose fatalities through the first nine months of 2022. Although Black mortality rates dropped to a recent low of 13% in 2015, they have steadily increased since then.

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Piotrowski stated, “At the present time, the Black population is disproportionately afflicted by this.”

Similarly, white people dropped from making up 76% of New Jersey’s overdose deaths in 2015 to making up only 52% of the state’s total in 2022.

Overdose deaths in New Jersey have increased among the elderly since 2015.

Nearly a third of overdose deaths in New Jersey in 2022 through September were among those aged 55 and up, up from 20% in 2018 and 16% in 2015.


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