Stopping the Increase of Opioid-Related Deaths in NJ

Steve Adubato talks with Jim McGreevey, Former Governor of New Jersey & Chairman, New Jersey Reentry Corporation about the rapid increase of opioid-related deaths in New Jersey and strategies to stop the increase.

1/26/19 #3130






"We welcome back our good friend Jim McGreevey, Former Governor of the great state of New Jersey, and Chairman of New Jersey Reentry Corporation. Good to see you Jim. It's good to be here. Thank you Stephen. Jim, a report you and your team just put out, New Jersey Opioid Addiction Report: A Modern Plague. Describe why it mat... what is it why is it? And why does it matter so much? Stephen, the advent of synthetic opioids, fentanyl and carfentanyl, has been a profound game changer. Fentanyl is 50 times, carfentanyl is 100 times, stronger than morphine. It's a synthetic opioid. It's lit... What's the...? Sorry, Jim. Fentanyl, I know. What's the other one? Carfentanyl, which is even a stronger version of fentanyl. It's what they use in Africa to take down a full-grown African bull elephant in 20 minutes. And this synthetic opioid is so powerful, the DEA no longer uses the dogs. Agents now wear bodysuits. Because of the fact that three grains of sand, the equivalent of that fentanyl, a client can survive. But four grains, you suffer overdose and death. And now the naltrexone, which we use to bring back people temporarily, you need four administrations. Wow. So this is so powerful. I mean, I just did... last week we just did toxicology reports at our nine reentry sites, and there's no more heroin in the heroin anymore. In the sense that people are consuming the synthetic opioid mixed with whatever derivative. And so that this is so powerful, and so corrosive, that it's destroying lives faster and more permanently than anything we've ever seen. Jim, but your organization, dealing with reentry, those who have been incarcerated... Sure. ...coming back into society, what is the connection between the opioid crisis and the incarcerated population? So in... there are two points. One, that people coming out of prison, or out of jail, are 130 times more likely to die, because they're coming out, and all of a sudden, they're going to go back to the same usage, the same amount, and they take it, they overdose, and they die. The second point, in the state of New Jersey, we have one of the highest conflations... if you're in prison in the state of New Jersey, there's an 80 percent chance you're an addict or alcoholic. And if you're an addict or alcoholic, there's a high probability that you're going to wind your way into the criminal justice system or death. There's a high conflation between addiction and imprisonment in the state of New Jersey. And what we saw in this report, Stephen, is that thanks to the leadership of Senator Vitale and Governor Christie... Senator Joe Vitale? Senator Joe Vitale. Chairman of the Senate Health..."