Feb. 15, 2024 – “While we are flattening the curve for some, we are not flattening the curve for all,” Baston said. “As we’ve seen the numbers drop off for white New Jerseyans, we’ve actually seen them continue to rise in the Black and brown communities in our state, which is unacceptable. Addiction recovery providers and advocates applauded the news. 

The funding is just the first batch of more than $1 billion pharmaceutical companies are expected to pay New Jersey over the next two decades to settle national lawsuits over their role in creating and fueling the opioid crisis.

“Importantly, half of that amount will go directly toward our counties and local governments so these funds can be spent quickly on the front lines of our communities,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during a morning news conference at a harm reduction center in Newark.

The state council tasked with advising policymakers how best to spend the money recommended officials first beef up harm reduction services statewide, so the biggest chunk of the funding Murphy announced — $24 million over two years — will expand such centers to 18 counties and fund harm-reduction supplies in especially drug-ravaged communities.