In response to the crisis that has claimed thousands of New Jersey residents in the past four years alone, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) has launched a media campaign to make families aware of the fentanyl outbreak in New Jersey communities.
Drug-related deaths in New Jersey have eclipsed record totals in the state in each of the past four years, in large part due to the increase in fentanyl overdoses. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Officials estimate more than half of the state’s 3,163 drug overdoses in 2018 involved fentanyl, according to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. In 2017, about 1,400 or 50 percent of New Jersey drug overdose deaths were fentanyl-related.
“Fentanyl has become the deadliest drug in the opioid epidemic that is tragically impacting so many New Jersey families and communities,” PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente said. “It is vital that New Jersey residents are aware of the dangers of fentanyl and understand its deadly effects.”
The campaign, which New Jersey residents will see on buses, trains, billboards and on websites of law enforcement partners throughout the state, focuses on just how little of the substance it takes to produce tragic results. Next to the image of a small sugar packet appears the message, “The amount of fentanyl that can fit in this packet can kill hundreds of people.”
In many cases, people unknowingly take fentanyl when mixed with other drugs like heroin or cocaine or as counterfeit prescription pills. To learn more about fentanyl, visit www.drugfreenj.org/drug-encyclopedia/fentanyl.
“This campaign will arm New Jersey residents with crucial information on fentanyl to make the best decisions to help keep their families and communities safe,” Valente said.