NJ Department Of Health Releases Data On Terrifying Prevalence Of Heroin Abuse By County, Town
Nationwide, there is an opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, early numbers estimate more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016. Two million are dependent on prescription painkillers, and hundreds of thousands more are addicted to heroin.
New Jersey is no exception. Heroin continues to be a major factor in the significant increase in drug use and overdoses in recent years – not to mention it’s far more deadly cousin, fentanyl.
For example, in Ocean County, overdoses have more than doubled in the past few years. In fact, Ocean County had the highest number of towns (nine) on the list of thirty towns named by the state’s recent data culled from 2016. Three were from Middlesex, which had a 75% increase from 2015-2016.
The data was released from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the New Jersey Department of Human Services and is based on the number of people seeking addiction recovery treatment. While some areas have seen a small decline, the majority experienced an increase in heroin use treatment cases:
Newark was at #1, with nearly 1,500 heroin abuse cases in 2016, reflecting a 6% increase from 2015.
Paterson was next, reporting more than 1,000 cases of heroin abuse, a 19% increase from 2015.
Camden was third, with 839 cases of heroin use, reflecting an incredible 56%.
Jersey City came in at #4, with 765 reported cases of heroin abuse, up from 716 in 2015.
Atlantic City the seaside resort reported 730 cases of heroin abuse in 2016, one of the few cities that remained stable (there were 733 cases in 2015.)
Tom’s River was 6th, reporting 657 heroin use cases in 2016, down from 667 in 2015.
Trenton was next with 498 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2016, reflecting a phenomenal 85% increase.
Brick was at #8, with 436 heroin use cases, a 12% increase from 2015.
Egg Harbor Township was 9th, reporting 395 cases of heroin abuse in 2016, up from 310 the year before.
Elizabeth was 10th, with 393 cases of heroin use in 2016, up from 382 in 2015.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology