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New Jersey Suburban Heroin Crisis 2014

Over 6 years time, the number of suburban New Jersey residents seeking help for heroin addiction grew more than 60 per cent, while 33 per cent fewer city dwellers sought similar assistance with heroin addiction.

Over 6 years, between 2006 and 2012, New Jersey’s heroin addiction problems shifted from the cities to the suburbs. According to data from the New Jersey Substance Abuse Monitoring System, the number of suburban New Jersey residents seeking help for heroin addiction grew more than 60 per cent, while 33 per cent fewer city dwellers sought similar assistance with heroin addiction.

Newark and Camden topped the lists of heroin hot spots. Today, it's Ocean and Monmouth counties, the numerous suburbs along the trade routes between Philadelphia and the Jersey shore. The area between Newark and Paterson as well as the wealthy suburban neighborhoods of North Jersey are also suffering.  

New Jersey suffers from a prescription pain killer addiction problem, fueled by lax prescribing of powerful opioids over the past several years, and increasing acceptance of drugs like Percocet for even minor aches and pains. Opioids are addicting, and many NJ residents are now addicted to pain killers they first received from their doctor or dentist for legitimate medical reasons.

Due to increased regulation and oversight, prescription drugs are now more expensive and harder to find. But regulation doesn’t stop an addiction. Treatment is needed.

The government recently recognized that 80% of those seeking help with a heroin addiction problem, had previously abused prescription medicines. Addicted individuals cut off by their doctors, shifted to the black markets. But once they start buying drugs illegally, they discover they are buying from the same drug dealers that sell heroin.

Heroin is cheaper for drug dealers to source, and much more profitable to sell since purity is not controlled. The switch from pain killers to heroin has been deadly for many in New Jersey, but the decision is not usually made with a clear mind. An addict can not be trusted to make good decisions about risk. The addiction needs to be satisfied.

The switch from pain pills to heroin is facilitated by many factors. The addict is controlled not just by the addiction to pain medicines, but by the dealer, and ultimately a heroin addiction.

Get treatment for addiction before the addiction leads to illegal drug dealers and increased dangers of heroin. Prescription pain medicine adiction can be treated. Call for help, before the risks escalate.

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by Certified Counselor on April 8, 2014, 4:39 p.m. archive