New Jersey to Host Drug Forum
Children’s Aid and Family Services (CAFS) hosted a community forum on lat month which offered residents in Bergen County, New Jersey an opportunity to hear officials discuss the realities of the current spike in heroin use. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office’s current investigation into heroin use began in October 2012 when the Homicide Division received a call from the Medical Examiner’s office, stating that there had been a recent upswing in overdose deaths, most being caused by heroin.
In 2012, there were 28 heroin overdose deaths in the county, with just short of 20 in 2011. While there were some deaths of older people among the overdoses, the average age was between 21 and 27. The prosecutor’s office was able to locate the origin point of most of the heroin by cross-referencing information gathered from the scenes. Unlike normal operations, the officers went after the users to find out what was going on. When the users made it back headquarters, they found the treatment more similar to what they would expect from social workers than police as the officers tried to find out the background of where the spike in heroin use originated. One common starting point was using painkillers after an injury or surgery. Even after the pain had passed, the body remained addicted to the opiates, and while oxycodone may run $80 a pill on the streets, a hit of heroin can be found in Paterson for as low as $5.
While users may start by stealing or using their savings to pay for pills, they eventually run out of money and ideas, according to oxycodone. At that point they see that a bag of heroin costs just a fraction of the price for a similar high.
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