Feb. 15, 2024 – With the encouraging decline as a backdrop, Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday announced a $95 million plan over the next three years to increase services for addicts. The drop is a welcome relief for a state that had seen overdose deaths skyrocket over the course of a decade, as more people became addicted to prescription painkillers, mirroring a national trend. 

Overdose deaths tripled from 1,096 in 2012 to more than 3,000 in recent years, Health Department data showed.

About half of the opioid settlement money will go to programs run by state government, with the remainder going to counties and municipalities. Unlike the tobacco settlement windfall of the 1990s, all of the opioid settlement is earmarked for addiction treatment.