What Is the Price & Loss Every Year in New Jersey Due to Drug Abuse & Addiction?

With an average of 1,263 people per square mile, New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the U.S., with North Jersey and Camden County being the most densely populated counties.

Like other densely populated areas in the country, New Jersey struggles with high rates of substance abuse, especially prescription-related opioid misuse.

Consider these opioid-related statistics reported on the New Jersey Attorney General’s website for January 1 to February 28, 2023.

  • 519,891 opioid prescriptions written.
  • 2,393 administrations of naloxone.
  • 440 suspected opioid deaths.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance dependence, we can help. New Pathway Counseling will work with you to develop an individualized treatment program to help you recover from addiction and set you on the road to long-term recovery. We will help you restore mind, body, and spirit using a wide variety of treatment methods, including Medically Assisted Treatment, to help stabilize you if you are struggling with a dependency on pain medication or heroin. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options in your area.

Rates of Drug Abuse in the Garden State

New Jersey has seen a significant rise in drug abuse over the past few years. According to a 2019 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report, an estimated 14% of New Jersey residents reported misusing illicit drugs during the last year — considerably higher than the national average of 10.2%.

For 2017-2019 annual average prevalence data for past-year includes:

  • 0.56% (or 42,000 people) used heroin in the past year.
  • 3.0% (or 224,000 people) reported prescription pain reliever misuse.
  • 0.9% (or 70,000 people) experienced opioid misuse disorder.
  • 6.1% (or 464,000 people) experienced substance abuse disorder.

New Jersey Overdose Death Rates and Other Statistics

The opioid crisis has had a devastating impact on New Jersey, resulting in an alarming increase in overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 1,830 opioid-related overdose deaths in New Jersey in 2018 — a 13% increase from the previous year and more than double the number of overdoses reported in 2014. In 2020, drug overdose deaths in general numbered 32.1 per 100,000.

In addition to the rising death toll, New Jersey has seen an alarming increase in the number of people seeking treatment for substance use disorders. According to a 2019 drug trends report from the Department of Human Services, more than twice as many people sought help for opioid misuse in 2018 than in 2017.

Where in New Jersey Do People Utilize Drugs & Alcohol the Most?

Drug and alcohol use is a problem throughout New Jersey but is particularly prevalent in urban areas. According to the 2019 Substance Abuse Trends report from the Department of Human Services, counties with larger populations tend to have higher rates of substance abuse than those with smaller populations. For example, approximately 5% of adults in Camden County reported misusing illicit drugs and alcohol in the last month, compared to 3.5% of adults in Ocean County.

Camden County also had the highest rate of opioid misuse, with nine out of every 100 people misusing opioids — nearly double the statewide average. These numbers demonstrate the disproportionate impact of drug and alcohol abuse on urban populations.

How Much Does Drug & Alcohol Abuse Cost American Businesses Each Year?

With an annual price tag of $193 billion, illicit drug use in the U.S. comes at a high cost, but when human costs are added, the bill is much higher.

Impact on the labor force is substantial. Those struggling with substance use disorder are less productive and rack up high absenteeism and turnover rates in the labor force. Their healthcare, disability, and workers’ compensation costs are higher. Employers also incur hidden costs associated with drug and alcohol abuse, such as decreased morale and reduced job satisfaction. The effects of addiction can lead to a decline in overall workplace performance, resulting in harm to an organization’s reputation and bottom line.

Illegal activity related to substance misuse increases taxes to pay for law enforcement, criminal justice, and publicly supported medical treatment.

Substance Abuse and Related Disorders in New Jersey: Yearly Economic Costs

The economic burden of drug and alcohol abuse in New Jersey is estimated to be over $6.5 billion per year, with the majority of these costs incurred through lost productivity in the workplace. Healthcare expenses related to addiction totaled more than $2.7 billion in 2018.

There are also hidden costs associated with substance abuse, such as incarceration and homelessness.

Contributing Reasons to New Jersey’s High Rates of Drug Abuse

New Jersey’s high drug abuse rate results from multiple factors. New Jersey’s location on the easter border of the U.S. makes a convenient connection point for dealers and cartels to transfer their products en route to their destination. It has busy seaports and two international airports and sits adjacent to two key distribution centers — New York and Philadelphia.

Poverty and lack of education are believed to be two of the most important contributing factors, with individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds being more likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol. In addition, New Jersey has seen a dramatic increase in prescription opioid misuse over the last decade due to a combination of aggressive marketing practices by drug companies, overprescribing by physicians, and inadequate access to treatment.

Contact Us Today

The cost of substance abuse cannot be measured simply in dollars and cents. Addiction results in loss of workforce productivity and higher healthcare costs and takes a terrible toll on personal relationships. No matter the substance, the best way to overcome addiction is with the help of experienced, trusted professionals like those at New Pathway Counseling we provide comprehensive outpatient treatment, including medically assisted treatment, and telehealth. Contact us today to talk about how we can help you overcome your addiction and restore body, mind, and spirit.

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