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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
December 17, 2004

New Jersey Heroin Purity Takes
Dramatic Double Digit Drop

Special Agent in Charge Michael Pasterchick, Jr., of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced today that pursuant to the recent release of DEA’s Domestic Monitoring Program (DMP) results regarding street level heroin purity in the United States, New Jersey registered a double digit reduction in purity. While the report noted that New Jersey leads the nation in heroin purity, the extremely good news for New Jersey was the dramatic drop in heroin purity over last year’s DMP results.

The DEA DMP provides data on the price, purity, and geographic source of heroin being sold at the retail or street level in 23 U.S. cities. The data contained in the DMP is based on actual undercover heroin purchases made by DEA agents on the streets of these cities. Throughout the year, agents purchase street level heroin in order to support the DMP. The DMP is an important assessment and analytical tool for DEA, law enforcement officials, drug policy makers, and drug abuse researchers throughout the nation.

In the most recent analysis released this month, the DMP reported New Jersey’s street level heroin purity at 61.3 %. Last year, the results were much higher at 71.4 %. The majority of heroin that is sold in New Jersey comes from South America. Over the past nine years, heroin seizures by law enforcement in New Jersey have increased over 1300%. New Jersey law enforcement consistently ranks within the top five states for federal-wide heroin seizures. In fiscal year 2004, DEA New Jersey seized over 400 pounds of pure heroin.

SAC Pasterchick praised the dramatic drop in purity due in part to DEA’s collective efforts with federal, state and local law enforcement partners throughout New Jersey. SAC Pasterchick further stated “this significant drop in purity of street level heroin over last year’s results directly reflect the accomplishments achieved by all law enforcement attacking the supply and importation of heroin into New Jersey.”

In addition to this encouraging reduction over last year, DEA’s Demand Reduction Program (DRP) has conducted and implemented anti-drug heroin education programs throughout New Jersey. Also, on October14, 2004, DEA New Jersey, together with the State of New Jersey, Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services (DAS), and the New Jersey Prevention Network (NJPN), unveiled a new curriculum and DVD video focusing on heroin for drug prevention educators. The video will be available for middle and high school students. The objective of this program is to provide information about the dangers of heroin use for students and awareness for parents and professionals. SAC Pasterchick stated “I applaud the outstanding efforts by our prevention and treatment partners, who provide services to our youth and enable them to make the right choices.”

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