There’s no question that New Jersey and particularly North Jersey is currently experiencing a drug and alcohol abuse problem. Let’s consider the latest statistics on overdose deaths in the state. The New Jersey Medical Examiner’s Office released data showing that deaths from drug overdoses were up 21 percent in 2015 from the year before. There were 1,587 drug overdose deaths in 2015, 961 of those deaths were attributed to heroin overdose and an additional 417 were caused by overdoses of fentanyl, which is a powerful synthetic opioid.
In addition to that, binge drinking has gone up significantly in New Jersey. From 2002 to 2012, the rate of binge drinking rose nine percent according to one study. While the rate grew 3.6% among men, the real surprise was that the rate of binge drinking among women grew more than 21%. These numbers are significantly higher than the national average. Also, drunk driving is still a major concern for New Jersey. According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 2003-2012, 1,816 people were killed in automobile accidents involving a drunk driver.
As the numbers continue to show how North Jersey, Central Jersey, and South Jersey all have problems with drug and alcohol abuse, advocates like Joe Governara will continue to push state officials and other parties to draft legislation that will help addicts and families find the help they need. In addition to that, Joe Governara will continue to raise awareness about the symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse, treatment options, and how families and friends can help someone who is addicted find the help he or she needs.
If you or someone you know has a drug or alcohol problem, please visit the NJ Department of Human Services for additional information on mental health and addiction treatment options in your area.