Sharon M. Joyce Director
History of NJ CARES
On February 22, 2018, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced the creation of a new office within the Office of the Attorney General dedicated to fighting the opioid epidemic. The Office of the New Jersey Coordinator of Addiction Response and Enforcement Strategies (“NJ CARES”) is charged with overseeing addiction-fighting efforts across the Department of Law and Public Safety (“DLPS”), and creating partnerships with other agencies and groups similarly committed to identifying and implementing solutions to the opioid crisis and drug addiction.
The DLPS, which includes the Division of Criminal Justice, the Division of Law, the Division of Consumer Affairs, including many health care and mental health care licensing boards, the Juvenile Justice Commission, , the New Jersey State Police, , the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the Division on Civil Rights, and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, has broad powers to fight the opioid crisis through regulation, enforcement, criminal prosecution, civil litigation, and administrative action. Assistant Attorney General Sharon M. Joyce has served as the Director of NJ CARES since its inception.
Under Ms. Joyce’s leadership, NJ CARES rolled out a series of new addiction-fighting programs, including an electronic data-sharing network to exchange opioid-related data among state agencies and an online portal providing the public with real-time updates on overdose deaths and other addiction-related information, and forged strategic alliances with like-minded stakeholders in both the public and private sectors across the country.