June 2016 – According to a 2015 article published on NJ.com, New Jersey’s fatal overdose rate was up to three times the national average.¹ The rates in Camden continue to soar above the already astounding numbers reported for other NJ counties.² As the nation continues to fully realize and act on the monumental drug addiction problem, Camden has been no stranger to absorbing the consequences. Coupled with the out of control drug activity, this county has come to be known as one of the most dangerous in America.³
Some officials argue that the worst of days are behind them, but nevertheless there is a lot more work to be done. In a documentary by The Daily, a group of residents gave their own accounts of what it is really like living in that area. Most businesses, like restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels have long been closed leaving behind abandoned buildings. Walking along the street is safe for no one, as one woman attested before mentioning that her cousin what gunned down just two days prior.⁴ The issues of violence and drug addiction are undoubtedly closely correlated.
Tackling one the the two major issues, addiction treatment facilities are steadfastly operating in some of the most affect areas. A once a shunned and misunderstood form of addiction treatment is now being gratefully embraced in Camden and around the country. Medication-assisted treatment facilities, like Urban Treatment Associates, employ the use of medications like methadone or buprenorphine to help stabilize patients seeking recovery. Increasing and maintaining the availability if treatment is essential to the revitalization of Camden.