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Heroin use is on the rise in Ocean County, New Jersey

Updated on February 24, 2014

Admission Statistics

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.

  1. Monmouth 7276
  2. Ocean 6713
  3. Essex 6578
  4. Camden 6298
  5. Middlesex 5068

The top five municipalities

  1. Toms River 982
  2. Brick 958
  3. Jackson 508
  4. Lacey 411
  5. 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

Heroin Fatalities

A report by 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.

Heroin Kills

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
  • Disorientation
  • Irresponsibility at work or school
  • Lying
  • 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.

  1. 1-877-766-4924
  3. 866-590-3431
  4. 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.

There is help available


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    • lisavanvorst profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa VanVorst 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      thank you vocalcoach and Alphadogg16 for reading this hub. Yes it is everywhere and we must be aware of those around us who are addicted to it. I am sorry for your loss Alphadogg16.

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Having an extended family member recently pass due to contracting aids from heroin use/needle sharing, I am familiar with the problem of heroin, it's not just in New Jersey. Great informative hub, thumbs up.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      You have really opened my eyes to the increase in heroin. Guess I've been living in the dark ages for too long:) Great and informative hub which I will share with others. And thanks for the follow :)

    • lisavanvorst profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa VanVorst 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you. Yes heroin which was once an old drug of use has now become the new and deadly drug. Mainly because the cost has decreased and the demand has now increased. Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      From what I understand, Lisa, this is true all over the country. There has been a sharp increase in heroin the past few years. Scary but true, and raising awareness like this is always helpful. Well done!

    • lisavanvorst profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa VanVorst 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Yes it is very frightening. We as society need to be aware of what is happening. Thank you for stopping by and reading.

    • ologsinquito profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      This is frightening. I'm sure most people have no idea this is happening.

    • lisavanvorst profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa VanVorst 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Yes it is. It is a serious problem impacting our country. Thank you for reading.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      What appallingly scary stuff, especially that it is impacting kids so young.

    • lisavanvorst profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa VanVorst 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you for reading. Yes it is scary and Heroin is the new drug that ultimately in one way or another destroys lives.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Drugs has become the answer for many individuals and it is sad to see such an increase in this part of the world. Heroin is dangerous as any other drug but just to know how many die from this drug is painful.

    • lisavanvorst profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa VanVorst 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Yes we do and thank you for reading and responding. It is sad that so many young people are turning to drugs for the answer. I felt this article would help those struggling with this horrible and potential fatal drug.

    • WordlawMinistries profile image

      Wordlaw Ministries 

      4 years ago from Chicago

      Wow Lisa, this is horrendous. We must do all we spiritually can to save our youth, peers and people as a whole. Thank you so much for sharing!


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