A new poll finds virtually all residents of the Garden State believe opioid usage is a significant problem, but it turns out many people are still using these addictive drugs.

And a large majority believe that the use of opioid drugs is more of a serious problem in their own communities than the rest of the state.


“Nearly a quarter of New Jerseyans, about 23%, say that they or a family member have taken a prescription opioid painkiller in the past 12 months,“ said Ashley Koning, the director of the Rutgers-Eagleton poll.

She said the joint Rutgers-Eagleton/ Fairleigh Dickinson University poll, conducted in collaboration with the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, found about 4%, or more than 350,000, admit that they or a relative have misused prescription painkillers.

About 3% admitted they used the drugs in higher doses than prescribed, or by using a pain reliever that was not prescribed for them in the first place (2%).

About 67% believe it’s a very serious problem while 28% said it’s a somewhat serious problem.

She noted these number have changed little since Rutgers-Eagleton did a poll about the severity of the opioid epidemic in June 2018.

The poll also finds 2% say they or a relative have sought care for some kind of drug addiction within the past 12 months.

In the poll, 1,250 adults were contacted between March 7 and 22, 2019.

Of those, 621 of were contacted by live callers on landlines and cell phones, and 629 were reached through an online probability-based panel. The combined sample has a margin of error of +/-3.6 percentage points.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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