The disheartening trend is particularly evident in Essex County, New Jersey, which has seen a staggering increase in the number of heroin-related deaths since 2011.
According to data released by the NJ Medical Examiner’s Office, among all counties in New Jersey, Essex County had one of the largest increases in heroin overdose deaths between 2011 and 2014. The number of heroin death rose by 284 percent in Essex County, which includes Newark, East Orange, West Orange, and Bloomfield.
The heroin epidemic has become more of a problem in recent years. While the total number of heroin-related deaths in Essex County from 2011 to 2013, the number of heroin overdose deaths was four times higher in 2014 than it was in 2011.
Other New Jersey counties also saw significant rises in the number of heroin overdose deaths. Those counties included Bergen County, Camden County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Ocean County. Moreover, Passaic County saw the highest percentage increase in heroin overdose deaths since 2011.
The statistics also indicates that heroin overdoses, fatal and non-fatal, are also on the rise in New Jersey – the total number of heroin overdoses doubled from 2011 to 2014, with more than 600 people suffering heroin overdoses in 2014.
NJ lawmakers are currently trying to combat the state’s heroin problem by drafting possible solutions. Many legislators recognize that the state’s current laws on heroin possession and heroin distribution, have not been terribly effective in fighting heroin abuse. That’s why more and more state lawmakers are working to come up with solutions that focus on drug treatment and rehabilitation, as opposed to incarceration.
For additional information about this case, see Patch.com article entitled “Essex County: 284 Percent Increase in Heroin Deaths Since 2011.”