The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) requests $7,433,765 to implement the New Jersey Overdose Data to Action Project, which seeks to improve the timeliness and quality of overdose data and to transform data to action by implementing evidence-based and innovative solutions to respond to the current epidemic and prevent it from worsening. NJDOH will implement all 10 strategies outlined in the NOFO, fulfilling both the surveillance and prevention components of the award. Leveraging existing infrastructure and cross-sector partnerships with other agencies, academic institutions, local health departments and other community partners, NJDOH ultimately seeks to decrease the rates of drug overdose, opioid misuse and use disorder, and emergency department visits due to opioid misuse or use. The goals are aligned with Healthy People 2020 focus areas for Substance Abuse, the HHS Five Point Opioid Strategy, and the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
New Jersey is an ideal setting to conduct this project. The CDC’s Injury Center has identified New Jersey as the state with the largest increase in opioid overdoses from 2016 to 2017. Last year, about 3,118 New Jersey residents experienced overdose deaths, the highest number in any calendar year. Governor Murphy is committed to eradicating the epidemic by taking a data-driven-cross sector approach. CDC funding will be critical to our efforts.
In recent years, New Jersey has been a recipient of CDC funding, including the Data Driven Prevention Initiative, the Opioid Overdose Crisis Cooperative Agreement, and the Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance Grant, all of which have been instrumental to supporting and advancing its overall State strategy to combat the opioid epidemic. Through this previous support, we successfully have been able to launch and advance several important initiatives, including:
• Launching data tools to help understand the crisis, including the Dept of Health Opioid Dashboard and tools to track supply and help local health depts combat the epidemic
• Supporting the AG’s Operation Helping Hand: Connecting those arrested for drug related crimes to treatment
• Implementing public awareness campaigns around issues such as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
• Strengthening Syringe Access Programs
• Bolstering EMS training around SUD and naloxone, as well as post-overdose community outreach
• Building capacity of the Office of the Medical Examiner to develop rapid testing and accurate reporting
• Helping local health departments with direct access to timely naloxone administration data for their jurisdictions
We are confident that through the fiscal support of CDC-RFA-CE19-1904, we not only will be able to bolster these current efforts, but also to launch new ones that will allow us to generate more accurate, robust and faster surveillance data that will ultimately drive prevention and response activities.
For this project, New Jersey intends to propose strategies in all ten tiers listed in the proposal, including:1) collecting and disseminating timely emergency department data; 2) collecting and disseminating descriptions of drug overdose death circumstances; 3) implementing innovative surveillance; 4) enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs; 5) promoting state-local integration; 6) supporting linkages to care; 7) equipping providers and health systems to make evidence-based decisions around prescribing, linking patients to the appropriate levels of social support, and preventing overdose deaths; 8) enhancing partnerships with public safety and first responders; 9) empowering individuals through communication strategies and 10) pursuing innovation projects.