Impact of the Opioid Epidemic

The impact of the opioid epidemic has been measured in numbers. Sometimes, though, some overdoses and/or deaths aren’t reported, causing a misunderstanding of the real and severe impact of the opioid epidemic in our communities. Often, the “not in my backyard” syndrome masks the reality.

In 2021, there were 107,622 suspected overdose deaths in the United States… of that 3,124 were in New Jersey. Of those… 84 were from Morris County, ranking Morris 14th out of the 21 counties in New Jersey. However, by 2022 Morris County reported nearly 400 naloxone administrations and 64 suspected overdose deaths.[1]

A new reality is the impact of illicitly manufactured substances. According to the CDC, nearly eighty-five percent (85%) of overdose deaths involved illicitly manufactured fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine.[2] Individuals who use substances are encouraged to test their supplies with fentanyl test strips so there is no surprise. Additional means to lower your risk of overdose include (but are not limited to): access to naloxone, avoid mixing, and never use alone.

Myth: Not in my backyard. Not in my supply.

Fact: It is in our backyard. It is in our supply.

[1] NewJersey Office of the Attorney General. NJ CARES: Opioid Epidemic. Retrieved 5/20/2023 from

[2]Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Overdose Deaths and the Involvement of Illicit Drugs. Retrieved 5/20/2023 from