It’s not just the well-publicized rash of fentanyl-laced heroin overdoses in Pennsylvania that has been problematic in the past few months in the Northeast. Multiple people died due to heroin overdose in Ocean County, New Jersey, in the first few weeks of 2014 as well, according to NBC News, and opiate overdose deaths caused by heroin and/or prescription painkillers in the area doubled in 2013 as compared to 2012.
Ocean County is home to the famed Jersey Shore, a popular vacation destination in the Northeast, and it has the highest number of ER admissions caused by heroin use and abuse in the state. In 2012, 11.4 percent of New Jersey’s heroin-related ER admissions occurred in Ocean County though the county is home to less than 7 percent of NJ residents. Additionally, in 2012, Ocean County saw 53 people die of opiate overdose; in 2013, that number more than doubled to 112. Most overdoses were caused by heroin specifically.
Angelo Valente is the Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. He says: “It is a suburban epidemic facing us throughout New Jersey. A lot of suburban counties are affected at dangerous levels.”
Prescription Drug Abuse Turns to Heroin Addiction
Officials believe that many who abuse heroin begin by taking opiate painkillers like OxyContin and then begin snorting, smoking or shooting heroin because it is cheaper, easier to access and far more pure than it used to be. Unfortunately, heroin is just as deadly as pills, if not more so.
It’s not an issue that is going unaddressed. For example, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a new law that protects those who call 911 on behalf of an overdose victim from any legal prosecution even if they too are under the influence or in possession of heroin.
Helping Your Loved One Overcome Opiate Abuse and Addiction
Whether it’s the fentanyl-laced heroin that took out so many people or overdose on heroin taken in a social context at the Jersey Shore, opiate abuse is a potentially deadly choice and family members have every right to be concerned. Accident under the influence, the development of a life-altering addiction, and fatal overdose happen every day, and the only way to wipe out that risk is to wipe out all use of any opiate drugs.
Help your loved one make the move to a comprehensive treatment program that can help them overcome their use of all illicit substances, including heroin, when you contact us at Axis. We can answer your questions about addiction and recovery and assist you in the enrollment process. Learn more today.