LIVINGSTON, N.J. - New Jersey's two U.S. senators have joined forces with the nation's top medical official in an effort to combat opioid addiction and related problems.

Democrats Cory Booker and Bob Menendez took part in a panel discussion held Monday at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, along with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. They spoke before a crowd of more than 300 doctors, treatment providers and health advocates.

The lawmakers said more funding is needed to provide treatment for people looking to kick their addictions. They said it was short-sighted and financially irresponsible to deal with addiction solely after it becomes a problem.

Heroin deaths have risen by 160 percent in New Jersey since 2010 and more than 1,200 overdose-related deaths were reported here last year.