In many ways New Jersey has become a national model for its response to the ongoing opioid epidemic. With significant public dollars allocated to treatment and recovery programs under former Gov. Chris Christie, providers are eager to explore new clinical options for prevention and care. But the challenge continues to grow: Opioids killed more than 1,600 state residents in 2016. Now powerful new drug cocktails are driving that number even higher, overdose reversal drugs are becoming less effective and treatment centers remain overwhelmed.
However, New Jersey may be at a turning point: While many Christie initiatives are now underway, Gov. Phil Murphy has suspended $102 million in opioid program funding – more than half of what the former governor committed in his final months – and pledged to redirect these dollars into evidence-based priorities of his own.
In Part 1 of a 3-event series, we'll explore the medical and legislative dimensions of Prevention and Harm Reduction.
Dr. Shereef Elnahal, Commissioner, State of New Jersey Department of Health
Kathy Ahearn-O'Brien, Executive Director, Hyacinth.org
Dr. Mark S. Rosenberg, Chairman of Emergency Medicine and Chief Innovation Officer, St. Joseph’s Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Pain Management Task Force
Senator Joseph F. Vitale, Chairman, Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee, Vice-Chairman, Labor Committee
Additional panelists to be confirmed
Lilo H. Stainton, Healthcare Reporter, NJ Spotlight