New Jersey is known for its residents having big hair and big personalities. Featured in countless television shows and movies, New Jersey is one of those states that people feel like they’ve already visited, even if they’ve never been there.
But one disturbing trend that has recently been noted about New Jersey is the rise of opioid addiction. The trend has become so bad that opioid addiction has even been described as an epidemic.
Heroin Is The Drug Of Choice In New Jersey
The drug of choice is heroin, and the epidemic seems to be affecting the young residents of New Jersey the most, terrifying the worried parents. In the township of Sparta, residents are trying to deter the rising drug problem.
In the past year twenty-nine people have died of drug overdoses. To counteract the rising use of heroin amongst youths, more education about the dangers of drugs are being taught, including graphic reenactments of someone dying of a heroin overdose. Police believe this is necessary for the young people to know how dangerous opiates like heroin can be.
In Ocean County, Seventy-One People Have Overdosed In One Year
But it’s not just Sparta, the entire state of New Jersey is struggling with the addiction to heroin. Ocean County has had seventy-one people die from drug overdoses. Supposedly, heroin is everywhere in Ocean County and easy for anyone to procure.
The number of young people seeking heroin has drastically jumped, and the mounting fatality rate has unnerved even the most seasoned law enforcement officials.
Deaths In Ocean County
The deaths in Ocean County have been labeled a crisis and extreme measures have been taken to try to lower the amounts of drug deaths. This has resulted in an enforcement of a law called “Strict Liability In Drug-Induced Deaths.”
This is a law that will allow a court to prosecute a drug-dealer for murder if it can be proven that the drugs he sold caused the death of the addict. This law was originally passed in the 1980s when cocaine usage was booming amongst New Jersey residents.
Young People Are Using Drugs The Most
The root of this epidemic seems to be a culture of drugs and alcohol that have become prevalent amongst New Jersey’s youth. Most people die of using a combination of drugs, including:
- Other prescription drugs
And sixty percent of the overdoses have happened to people under the age of twenty-six. This lends itself to the belief that young people tend to think they’re invincible. Unsullied by mounting age, or the cautionary experiences of their elders, they believe they can take any combination of drugs and survive.
Crackdown On Prescription Pills
Another contributing factor to the increase in heroin usage, seems to be the crackdown on the abuse of prescription drugs on the street. Law enforcement has cracked down on the distribution of prescription drugs on the street, making them widely less available for recreational use.
As a result, young people are turning to heroin because of its increased availability, and eventually become addicted. People who buy heroin off the streets never know what they’re getting and this leads to people not knowing how potent the drug is, leading to overdose deaths.
Fighting The Epidemic
New Jersey is aware of the epidemic of heroin usage. But similar to the crack cocaine boom in the eighties, law enforcement officials are working to stem the tide of deaths. Increased focus on reaching out to youth about drug abuse and harsher laws on drug dealers are the first major steps taken to combat the epidemic.
Nicholas Russi, is a board certified specialist (CADC-II, CCS, LAADC) and is committed to helping people beat their addiction by finding the right treatment center learn more about his work at http://www.addictiontreatmentadvisors.com/.