The State of New Jersey is in the throes of a serious heroin epidemic, with state medical examiner records showing that there have been more than 5,000 heroin-related deaths in the state in the past five years.
New Jersey lawmakers, health officials and other interested parties are drawing attention to the heroin epidemic because it seems to be affecting underage drug users more than any others – possibly because these first-time users of illicit drugs are unable to gauge their tolerance levels, resulting in tragic outcomes. Regardless of the reasons for their drug use, young people, including college students, high school students and other teenagers, have been particularly susceptible to heroin overdoses. Individuals under the age of 35 make up more than 44 percent of all heroin-related deaths in New Jersey, according to state fatality records.
Although NJ law enforcement has been making a large number of arrests for heroin possession and heroin distribution in urban areas like Newark and Paterson, heroin overdose deaths remain a particular problem in municipalities located near the Jersey shore.
Another issue that officials with the NJ Department of Health are focusing on is the rise in prescription drug abuse, especially among young people who are becoming hooked on prescription medications like Adderall and then switching to cheaper, easier-to-access alternatives like heroin once their prescriptions run out.
For more information about the New Jersey heroin epidemic, read the NJ.com article, “Inside the N.J. Town with a Heroin Death-Rate 25 Times the National Average.”
If you were arrested for simple possession of marijuana, heroin possession, prescription drug distribution or any other drug crime in New Jersey, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. The knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC can help you fight your criminal charges and avoid jail time. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.