History of NJ CARES
On February 22, 2018, former 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 Responses 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.
NJ CARES has rolled out a series of new addiction-fighting programs, including an online portal providing the public with updates on overdose deaths and other addiction-related information, prescriber education courses, and law enforcement centered outreach programs, like Operation Helping Hand and Opioid Response Teams, and forged strategic alliances with like-minded stakeholders in both the public and private sectors across NJ.