Unveiling the Truth: New Jersey Drug Use Statistics Uncovered

To understand the full scope of substance use disorders in New Jersey, it’s crucial to delve into New Jersey drug use statistics. These figures serve not only to illuminate the prevalence of substance abuse within the state but also to highlight the urgent need for comprehensive strategies and solutions to address this growing concern. With New Jersey being a microcosm of the broader national struggle against substance use disorders, understanding the local landscape is pivotal for crafting interventions that can make a real difference.

This overview of drug use in New Jersey focuses on substance-specific statistics involving heroin, marijuana, and other vital substances. It will explore the impact of drug use on mental health and highlight the intricate link between substance abuse and psychological well-being. By engaging with this analysis, you’ll gain a clearer understanding of the challenges New Jersey faces and the importance of addressing substance abuse to foster healthier communities.

Overview of Drug Use in New Jersey

General Statistics

In 2021, New Jersey experienced a significant number of substance abuse treatment admissions, totaling 87,745, with discharges closely following at 86,626. The data for 2022 shows a slight decrease, with 85,266 admissions and 84,437 discharges. Alcohol, heroin, and other opiates were the primary substances leading to these admissions. Residents need to be aware of the resources available for treatment, such as the Excel Treatment Center, which provides specialized care for addiction recovery.

Age and Gender Breakdown

The treatment admissions in New Jersey vary significantly by age and gender. Here is a detailed breakdown:

  • 0-17 years: Predominantly affected by alcohol and marijuana/hashish use.
  • 18-24 years: High admissions for heroin and alcohol.
  • 25-59 years: This age group sees the highest numbers, particularly with heroin and alcohol being the most common substances.
  • 60 years and over: Although lower in total numbers, there is a notable percentage of admissions for alcohol and heroin.

Men are generally more represented in treatment admissions across all substances, but the gender distribution can vary with specific drugs like methamphetamines and opiates.

Understanding these patterns helps target interventions and provide the necessary support at places like Excel Treatment Center, where tailored programs address these specific demographics and their unique recovery needs.

Substance-Specific Statistics


In New Jersey, marijuana usage statistics reveal significant insights into the demographic and behavioral patterns of users. In 2021, marijuana/hashish accounted for 6,569 treatment admissions, approximately 7% of the total. Notably, usage among adults aged 26 and older has increased and decreased among those aged 18 to 25. Over two years, youth usage (ages 12-17) increased from 70,000 to 78,000 in reported use. Interestingly, despite the increase in marijuana arrests among young adults, treatment admissions have declined for this group but increased for older adults. Racially, admission rates were similar between black and white users, with a slight majority of users being male.


Opioids, particularly heroin and other opiates, continue to be a major concern in New Jersey. In 2021, heroin alone was responsible for 33,587 treatment admissions, or 38% of all cases. The opioid crisis, exacerbated by the widespread availability of illicit opioids and prescription medications, has led to a significant number of overdose deaths. In some weeks of 2022, opioid overdoses accounted for over 75 deaths. This ongoing crisis highlights the critical need for effective intervention and treatment services like Excel Treatment Centers.


Cocaine usage in New Jersey, while lower than in some states, remains a significant issue. The drug accounted for 4,494 treatment admissions in 2021, about 5%. Cocaine, mainly when used in combination with other substances like alcohol or heroin, poses severe health risks, including the risk of fatal overdoses. Recent data indicates a reemergence of cocaine use, particularly among young adults, signaling a potential resurgence of this powerful stimulant as a public health concern.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug misuse, particularly of pain relievers, is another significant area of concern. In New Jersey, 3.0% of the population misused prescription pain relievers, slightly lower than the national average. The New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) is crucial in curbing misuse by tracking prescriptions and providing data to healthcare providers. This system helps prevent prescription drug misuse and ensures that those in need of help can receive appropriate treatment, such as at facilities like Excel Treatment Center.

Impact on Mental Health and Treatment

Mental Health Statistics

In New Jersey, mental health challenges are a significant concern, particularly among youth and adults. From 2016 to 2019, approximately 10.6% of youth aged 12–17 reported experiencing a major depressive episode (MDE) annually, with only 36.2% receiving treatment for depression. For adults, the prevalence of severe thoughts of suicide remained stable at about 3.2% between 2008 and 2019. These figures highlight the ongoing need for effective mental health services and interventions.

Treatment Admissions

In 2021, New Jersey saw 87,745 treatment admissions for substance abuse, with a variety of substances being the primary reason for admission. The data indicates a robust infrastructure for addressing substance use disorders, yet there remains a gap between those needing treatment and those receiving it. Facilities like Excel Treatment Center are crucial in bridging this gap by providing specialized care and support for recovery.

Challenges in Treatment and Access

Access to treatment presents several challenges, including stigma, financial barriers, and logistical issues. In 2018, common reasons for not seeking treatment included managing the problem on one’s own and fear of social stigma. Despite the availability of treatment options, misconceptions and lack of information still deter many from seeking necessary help. Enhancing public awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders can encourage more individuals to seek aid.

By addressing these critical areas, New Jersey can improve its response to the mental health and addiction crises, ensuring that more individuals receive the help they need at crucial points in their recovery journey.


As we reflect on the substance use landscape in New Jersey, the statistics and insights gathered highlight the complex challenge that addiction poses to individuals, families, and communities across the state. The prevalence of substance use disorders, as detailed from heroin to prescription drugs, signals a pressing need for targeted interventions and accessible treatment services. Paramount in addressing this crisis is the role of facilities like the Excel Treatment Center, which offers hope and support for those seeking to overcome addiction. Their specialized care and comprehensive approach toward recovery embody the essential resources required to mitigate the impact of substance use disorders on New Jersey’s community.

The journey towards healthier communities in New Jersey hinges on our collective commitment to enhancing access to treatment and eradicating the stigma of seeking help. The intricate link between mental health and substance abuse further emphasizes the need for integrated treatment solutions, where entities like Excel Treatment Center play a pivotal role. By prioritizing the expansion of such services and fostering a supportive environment for recovery, New Jersey can aspire to see a decline in substance use statistics and a brighter future for those affected. The path ahead calls for an unwavering dedication to transforming the landscape of substance use treatment in the state.

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