Overdose Deaths in NJ May Hit Record High

NJspotlight.com cover the increase in drug overdoses in New Jersey related to pandemic stress.

Experts warned that drug and alcohol addictions were likely to increase during the coronavirus pandemic and they appear to be right: In New Jersey, overdose deaths rose 17% over last year by July.

While the gap has lessened some since then, an NJ Spotlight analysis of state statistics suggests that the state could be on track to end 2020 with a record number of fatalities related to alcohol, opioids and other drugs. Nearly 1,600 residents lost their lives to overdose between January and the end of June.

With an increase in our telehealth capabilities — which was not permitted for many addiction services before the pandemic — CarePlus has also added additional staff. That included the hiring of Dr. Jerry Joseph, a Vice President of Addiction Medicine.

“We’ve kind of increased our bandwidth,” Joseph said. “We meet people where they are and try to work with them as best we can. I think the vast majority of patients see (the use of telehealth) as an improvement, or a positive. We’re able to engage our patients and follow up a bit better.”

Read more about the increased measures being taken to combat the increase in drug use during the pandemic: https://www.njspotlight.com/2020/09/nj-overdose-deaths-record-high-possible-covid-isolation-stresses/