Some angry over Murphy’s $100 million on addiction
I caught more than one person on social media fuming over Gov. Murphy's plan to spend $100 million on Jersey's opioid epidemic. I'm seeing folks saying they have no sympathy, that rehab is a revolving door, that it's the heroin addict's own fault, that their bad choices shouldn't cost the rest of us millions of dollars.
Where will those millions go? $56 million for prevention, treatment and recovery. Another $31 million towards social factors that can cause an addict to relapse. $13 million more for improved technology to better track data and better target where help is needed.
If those numbers upset you as a taxpayer, ask yourself what these numbers make you feel. So far in 2018, just 3 months into the year, 765 overdose deaths have happened in New Jersey. We are on pace for losing over 3,000 people this year to opioid overdoses. That's more people than were lost in the attack on the twin towers. That would be nearly a 40 percent increase from 2016 totals.
Still don't care? 3,060 dead New Jerseyans is 3,060 people who won't be paying income taxes, sales taxes, etc.. If we cannot look upon this rescue effort with humanity in mind can we at least look at it as keeping people around who will add revenue to the state coffers? It's a hell of a cold way to look at it, but would that help?
In my opinion people who don't want to see $100 million spent on an effort to save these people's lives are regarding these lives as useless and not worth living. I feel like people are stuck in a decades old thought process that the only ones addicted are the homeless, the unemployed, the dregs of humanity. So not true. This is an epidemic that cuts across all social boundaries. But to those who don't want to help addicts these words are cheap. They don't feel them. They don't see addicts as human. They don't see anyone they love as being susceptible to this scourge. Those who fall prey to it are lesser. Those who die from it are bid good riddance.
I'd much rather my tax money go to help an addict recover than the executive branch of the Statehouse be refurbished or pay double dipping pensions or fat boat checks in accumulated sick leave to public employees. Of all the things Gov. Murphy is doing wrong I think this is one thing he's doing right. Agree or disagree? Take our poll below.
Jeff Deminski can be heard with Bill Doyle on New Jersey 101.5, every weekday, from 2 to 7 p.m. Listen live online here at NJ1015.com or on the NJ1015 app. Follow Jeff on Twitter. Email him at email@example.com. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Jeff Deminski.
More from New Jersey 101.5