New Jersey experienced a record number of overdose deaths during the first half of this year, according to state data, and could surpass the all-time high number of drug-related fatalities recorded in 2020 if the current pattern holds. Between January and the end of June, 1,626 New Jerseyans lost their lives to an overdose, the state Attorney General’s office reports, nearly three dozen more deaths than were recorded by that point last year. If this pace continues through the fall, more than 3,250 people would die in this manner during 2021 — an increase of more than 6% over the 2020 total, an NJ Spotlight News analysis found. To read the full story.