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Heroin Related Deaths Rising in New Jersey Suburbs

Young adults in the suburbs of Northern New Jersey are falling victim to a recent trend that is affecting the entire nation – heroin overdose and death. Officials in Bergen County and surrounding areas are dealing with a sharp increase in heroin related overdoses and deaths, recording 130 overdoses and 38 deaths in 2011 and 2012 combined. The statistics in Northern New Jersey are consistent with recently released public health data. The National Survey on Drug Use and Addiction shows a 66 percent increase nationwide in heroin users, from 373,000 to 620,000 between 2007 and 2011. The data on young adults is even more disturbing, as the numbers more than doubled between that time from 53,000 to 109,000.

Public health and law officials believe the continuous increase in heroin use is related to an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, where young adults get hooked on pills but cannot sustain the expensive habit. They tun to heroin because it is cheaper and more pure than ever – the purity levels in New Jersey are at 40 percent, compared to 6 or 8 percent several decades ago. This means that heroin users can snort the drug rather than injecting it, which removes the stigma of a heroin user passed out in an alley with a needle in his arm.

Officials stated that their main concern, and the fastest growing population of heroin users, is the 18 to 25 demographic. The needle swap program in Paterson, which was designed to distribute clean needles to drug users and decrease the spread of disease, reports a steady increase in members of this demographic. Many heroin users began abusing pills as a teenager by stealing from their parents’ medicine cabinets, and eventually turned to heroin and completely spiraled out of control. Parents are often ignorant to the dangers of prescription drug abuse, believing that it is safer than street drugs. In reality, though, prescription pain killers are becoming the new gateway drug.

To begin your drug or alcohol addiction rehab treatment and recovery at Retreat now, please call us for more information or immediate travel arrangements to our Lancaster, PA location or from surrounding areas in DE, MD, DC, NJ, NY, and other parts of Pennsylvania including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

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