The trend is particularly pronounced in Essex County, NJ, which has seen a staggering increase in heroin deaths since 2011. Essex County had one of the largest increases in heroin deaths in New Jersey between 2011 and 2014, according to data released by the New Jersey Medical Examiner’s Office. Specifically, the number of heroin-related deaths in Essex County rose by 284 percent during that time.
Unfortunately, things seem to have gotten worse recently. Although the number of heroin deaths in Essex County rose slightly from 2011 to 2013, the number of heroin-related deaths nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2014.
Other NJ counties that saw a high number of heroin overdose deaths included Bergen County, Camden County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Ocean County. Additionally, Passaic County had the highest percentage increase in heroin-related deaths since 2011.
Not surprisingly, the data also shows that the overall number of heroin overdoses in New Jersey has rapidly increased – heroin overdoses in New Jersey have doubled since 2011. In 2014, more than 600 people suffered from heroin-related overdoses.
New Jersey lawmakers are currently attempting to draft solutions to the state’s heroin epidemic. Clearly, existing statutes are not getting the job done when it comes to stopping drug abuse in the Garden State. Although New Jersey has some of the stiffest laws in the country when it comes to heroin possession and heroin distribution, some NJ legislators believe that the laws should focus more on helping addicts and other drug abusers get treatment.
For additional information about this case, see Patch.com article entitled “Essex County: 284 Percent Increase in Heroin Deaths Since 2011.”