In 2016, there were over 2,100 drug-related deaths in New Jersey, mostly due to heroin. There have been two significant spikes in heroin deaths in the past few years, according to the “Report of The Governor’s Task Force on Drug Abuse Control.” The first came in 2015, when deaths jumped to 1,600 (they had been holding steady at about 1,200); the second spike was in 2016.
Fentanyl deaths also spiked during this period, climbing from 100 in 2014 to 400 in 2015 to more than 800 in 2016.
The Task Force, authorized when Gov. Chris Christie declared opioid addiction a public health crisis in February, made 40 recommendations involving education, prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery, and reentry.