LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY

Murphy administration commits $8 million to treating opioid addiction in county jails

On Friday, the Murphy administration announced a partnership with county jails to provide an $8 million investment in medication-assisted treatment for incarcerated individuals facing opioid addiction.

MAT, which is considered the gold standard for addiction treatment, uses medication to block the high associated with opioid use while relieving cravings and preventing withdrawal symptoms.

Funding will be distributed to correctional facilities based on the size of the incarcerated population; it will also create community partnerships to ensure treatment plans started in jails continue post-release.

“As the opioid epidemic continues to devastate communities across the state, our administration is committed to providing critical treatment, such as MAT, for individuals struggling with opioid addiction,” said Acting Governor Sheila Oliver. “This critical investment is another major step in New Jersey’s effort to take bold and aggressive action in order to combat this crisis and help individuals on the road to recovery.”

Studies suggest that the convict population is as much as 129 times more likely to be at risk for a drug overdose-related death post-release than the general population.

The announcement was made as part of a Department of Human Services-sponsored summit on the opioid epidemic held at the Atlantic City Convention Center, where 500 medical community members gathered to discuss methods of opioid use disorder treatment.