Gov. Murphy proposes $100M to fight opioid crisis

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

Gov. Phil Murphy says he's proposing $100 million in new spending to address the state's opioid crisis.

The governor outlined the proposal at a news conference Tuesday at the Rescue Mission of Trenton.

“This isn’t someone else’s problem. This is our problem, it’s a New Jersey problem,” Murphy said. “We all must come together to rebuild lives and communities.”

Murphy said that he is committed to finding new solutions to the opioid crisis and that he hopes to see patients receive more prescriptions for the state’s expanded medical marijuana program instead of for opioid painkillers.

Rescue Mission client Charles Sprague says that he traces his drug addiction to when he had a tooth pulled and was prescribed painkillers at 13 years old.

“It’s a vicious cycle that sometimes you don’t know if there is an end,” he says.  “It’s usually jails, institutions or death.”

Murphy’s plan would allot $56 million to fund outpatient and medication assisted treatment programs, and $30 million to support housing and employment programs. The proposal contrasts with former Gov. Chris Christie's pledge last year to spend roughly $200 million on the crisis. But Murphy says only about $90 million of those funds have been spent.

Murphy also says not to expect the money to be spent on television advertising. Christie had appeared in TV and radio spots last year inviting people with substance-abuse problems to seek help.

The state says that drug deaths surged in New Jersey with 2,200 overdose deaths reported between 2016 and 2017. Rescue Mission CEO Mary Gay Abbot-Young says that her staff has administered lifesaving Narcan in 19 overdoses cases since July.

The proposal comes as Murphy's $37.4 billion budget begins moving through the Democrat-led Legislature. A new budget must be in place by June 30.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Your 2018 New Jersey Halloween Costumes

    Your 2018 New Jersey Halloween Costumes

    Monday, October 22 2018 12:09 PM EDT2018-10-22 16:09:22 GMT

    Will you be spooky or scary? Or maybe playful or funny! Whatever your Halloween costumes are this year, News 12 wants to see them!

    Will you be spooky or scary? Or maybe playful or funny! Whatever your Halloween costumes are this year, News 12 wants to see them!

  • New Jersey Homes Decked Out for Halloween

    New Jersey Homes Decked Out for Halloween

    Monday, October 22 2018 3:14 PM EDT2018-10-22 19:14:24 GMT

    Does your street have the houses with the best Halloween decorations? 

    Does your street have the houses with the best Halloween decorations? 

  • Just Married in New Jersey

    Just Married in New Jersey

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."