Heroin use is on the rise in Ocean County, New Jersey
In 2012 Admission to treatment facilities reached an all time high for heroin addiction in Ocean County, New Jersey. 3683 admissions that's 11.4%.
The top five counties in New Jersey where the use of heroin admissions escalated rank in the following order.
- Monmouth 7276
- Ocean 6713
- Essex 6578
- Camden 6298
- Middlesex 5068
The top five municipalities
- Toms River 982
- Brick 958
- Jackson 508
- Lacey 411
- Lakewood 343
Reported June 2013
In 2013 Ocean County alone had 110 drug related overdose deaths.
Heroin use among the younger population
It is a scary thought that for the past three years the use of heroin has skyrocketed among the 18 to 25 year old population. I wrote this article to target the use in Ocean County, New Jersey where I live. However it is prevalent across the United States. Questions will be answered as to what is this illegally and potentially fatal drug? Why is there such an increase in counties within New Jersey? What are the signs and symptoms of this drug and what resources are available to help those who are addicted? Let me start with the facts.
The age of users fall into the 18 to 25 age group according to addiction treatment centers. That is a 12% increase between 2010 and 2011. Facebook a popular website provides a means of buying availability through innocuous messages. Thanks to a surge in painkiller addictions, dealers are developing ways to market the heroin. The market for drug users to buy has increased thus resulting in a price drop. This targets the younger population.
In the summer of 2012; Toms River reported 10 overdoses. Three of these which were fatal.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration teens and those in their 20's have fallen into a cycle of addiction. What started out as pain killers has advanced to heroin.
Treatment rates are at an all time high in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Gloucester counties. In 2011 the admissions of heroin drug users ranged from 10.1% to 12.5%.
Heroin which was once injected through a syringe is now snorted.
Heroin on the rise
A report by NJ.com reports that heroin deaths reached a record high in Ocean County. 52 overdoses in 2013. The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office is attempting to save lives by visiting middle school and high school students in order to educate and warn them of the deadly drug.
What is Heroin?
An illegal and addictive drug. It is processed from Morphine extracted from the seed pod of poppy plants. There is pure heroin and street cut heroin. Street cut is mixed with various components such as sugar, starch, powdered milk or quinine. Just to name a few. Heroin users who buy street cut do not know what they are buying which increases the potential of overdose and death. Heroin is either injected by needle which increases the potential of contracting HIV. Although injection is the most common users now snort, sniff or smoke the heroin through a pipe.
Pure heroin is used mostly for inhalation. As the potential illegal demand of this drug increases the cost to purchase decreases. This appeals to the younger population who resort to stealing money from relatives to pay for their drug habit. When stealing from relatives is not an option the addicted drug user may steal from store owners and often using a weapon. Crime rate to support this horrible drug use can increase and lead to further fatalities.
Signs and Symptoms
If you suspect someone you love of using heroin here are some signs and symptoms of abuse. Your loved one may not display all these symptoms. Even if he or she does not, it is important to seek help immediately.
- Behavioral changes
- Hyperactivity followed by fatigue
- Irresponsibility at work or school
- Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants to cover up injection sites
- Increased sleeping
- Slurred speech
- Track marks at injection sites
- Weight Loss
- Constant Runny nose
- Scabs or bruising from picking at injection sites.
Help is out there!
The following list contain some resources for treatment centers.
- http://www.thetreatmentcenter.com 1-877-766-4924
- http://www.futureofpalmbeach.com 866-590-3431
- Drug-Rehab.org 888-280-2549
You can also contact your teenager's school counselor to get helpful resources.
Heroin addiction can destroy a person's life and the life of their loved one. Don't ignore the signs of drug abuse. Get help for yourself or your loved one immediately before it's too late. Life is too precious to let this potentially fatal drug take it.