In The Spotlight

Battling the Opioid Epidemic

Battling the Opioid Epidemic

Battling the Opioid Epidemic

Touring Camp Cedar Knoll, a long-term treatment center dedicated to helping New Jerseyans overcome substance abuse.

Initiating innovative programing. The Office of the Attorney General, through NJ CARES—the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator of Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies—is at the cutting edge of programing that addresses the opioid
crisis from a holistic perspective. These efforts included expanding access to harm reduction services by partnering with other agencies to launch the Naloxone Distribution Program to make naloxone, the opioid reversal treatment, available at no cost to public entities and social services agencies. In addition, through $6 million in federal grants, we have developed new initiatives such as the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program which keeps at-risk individuals out of the justice system; Child Trauma Response Initiative which identifies families—and particularly children—impacted by addiction during opioid related incidents and links them to services; and “Opt for Help and Hope” which expands the addiction support services available within the Recovery Court Program in New Jersey Superior Court.

Holding the pharmaceutical industry accountable. In 2022, Attorney General Platkin announced a number of settlements with pharmaceutical companies that played a role in helping foment the national opioid crisis. In February, our office announced that New Jersey would receive $641 million from settlements with Johnson & Johnson, which manufactured opioids, and the country’s three largest pharmaceutical distributors—McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen. In June, Attorney General Platkin announced that New Jersey was eligible to receive approximately $30 million dollars, as part of a multistate opioid settlement with global pharmaceutical maker Mallinckrodt PLC. The bulk of the Mallinckrodt settlement dollars will be used to fund opioid abatement efforts across the state. Attorney General Platkin also announced that a coalition of state attorneys general reached an agreement in principle with opioid maker Endo International PLC (Endo) and its lenders that would provide up to $450 million to participating states and local governments, ban promotion of Endo’s opioids, and require Endo to turn over millions of documents related to its role in the opioid crisis for publication in a public online archive.