Just seven years ago, the number of overdoses exceeded the population of only a handful of towns in New Jersey.
Today, that number is 74.
So concludes a recent report from NJ.com. The stat, which includes an interactive map detailing the location and age of each death, was filed by Stephen Stirling of NJ Advance Media, and it serves as a sobering coda to an alarming story chronicling the number of overdose deaths due to opioids in the Garden State.
In 2016, those fatalities totaled 1901, 614 of them to people between the ages of 25 and 35.
“The trends in New Jersey mirror that of the country at large”, writes Stirling. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that about 64,000 people had died from drug overdoses in 2016, the majority of which involved opioids.”
That trend not only mirrors the country at large -- in some states, it even dwarfs it.
According to Sheila Kaplan of The New York Times, “the highest rates [of overdose deaths were] reported in New Hampshire, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio and Rhode Island.”
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who’s heading a special Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, recently told CNN’s “New Day” the scourge is "the AIDS epidemic of our generation, but even worse.”
"This is so awful,” said Christie. “We consume 85% of all the opioids in the world in this country. We are the most medicated country in the world, and it's unnecessary.”
To the former Governor, this is not just an American epidemic; it’s the equivalent of an attack on the country.
“We have 175 people a day dying. We have a 9/11 every two and a half weeks. If a terrorist organization was killing 175 Americans a day on our soil, we would look into how to make it stop."
And how. We at Recovery Boot Camp welcome any and all worthy suggestions to come from the Commission’s Report; more we encourage the former governor’s task force to see through the implementation. Meantime, RBC will remain on the front lines, fighting the good fight, and winning one battle at a time.