Wakeup South Jersey
Sources: State of New Jersey Opioid Use and Misuse Educational Fact Sheet.; Office of the Prosecutor – County of Burlington Overdose Deaths; SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2015 and 2016
Our nation is in the midst of an opioid addiction crisis. As a response, the DEA 360 Strategy takes an innovative three-pronged approach to combating heroin/opioid use through law enforcement, diversion control and community outreach. Watch.
Learn how to properly dispose of your unused or expired prescription medication. Read more.
Naloxone acts in less than 2 minutes and completely eliminates all signs of opioid intoxication to reverse an opioid overdose. Learn more.
Half of South Jersey's Drug Treatment Admissions are Due to Opioid Addiction
The abuse of prescription medication has been a serious issue in the state for a while. But now, unfortunately, users are turning to the cheaper and more potent opioids heroin and fentanyl to get high.
Nationwide, among new heroin users, 75 percent report having abused prescription opioids before using heroin. In New Jersey, eight out of 10 heroin users started off using painkillers.
In all of South Jersey's counties -- Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean and Salem -- heroin was the leading drug behind substance abuse treatment facility submissions.
For up-to-date overdose statistics in New Jersey, go to the NJ Cares website.
Heroin: South Jersey's Drug Problem
During the past few years, heroin abuse and overdose has increased in areas across the nation, especially in the Northeast. In fact, between 2010 and 2015, nationwide heroin-involved overdose deaths quadrupled. In 2016 opioid overdoses killed more than 42,000 people in the U.S.
How Did This Happen?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rise of opioid overdoses occurred in three waves:
First wave - Painkiller prescriptions. In the 1990s there was a sharp increase in the prescribing of opioid based painkillers, resulting in an increase in the amount deadly overdoses towards the end of the decade
Second wave – Heroin overdoses. Beginning in 2010, heroin overdoses increased nationwide. Many heroin users started off using painkillers.
Third wave – Rise of synthetic opioids. Significant increases in overdoses involving synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl) started around 2013.
New Jersey Drug Use
In the state of New Jersey, 38,000 people over the age of 12 used heroin within the past year, according to data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This number is the seventh highest in the nation. In addition, an estimated 283,000 New Jersey residents over the age of 12 misused pain relievers within the past year, according to the same surveys.
Treatment in South Jersey
During 2016, 50 percent of New Jersey residents who entered substance abuse treatment were being treated for an opioid addiction (in most cases heroin).
For decades, the number of fatal opioid overdoses nationwide had been steadily increasing, according to numbers from the National Vital Statistics System. But in 2018, the number of overall opioid deaths dropped to 46,802.
Unfortunately, the number of deaths from synthetic opioids - like fentanyl - continues to rise. Between 2017 and 2018, synthetic opioid deaths increased 9%.
State of New Jersey Opioid Use and Misuse Educational Fact Sheet. Source: http://www.nj.gov/education/students/safety/behavior/atd/opioid/FactSheet.pdf
New Jersey Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Substance Abuse Overview 2016 Statewide Source: http://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmhas/publications/statistical
- The vast majority of teens do not use heroin. In a 2018 national survey, only 0.4% of 12th graders used heroin in the past year.
- 96.4 percent of 12th graders disapprove of taking heroin occasionally.
- About 165,000 young people between 18 to 25 reported having a heroin use disorder in the past year.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE:
- Prescription opioid analgesics, specifically those containing oxycodone and hydrocodone, are the most common types of prescription drugs that are diverted for misuse and abused.
- Each day in the United States, over 192 people die as a result of a drug overdose.
- In 2017, an estimated 3.2 million people (aged 12 or older) reported current misuse of pain relievers.
- 53% of nonmedical users (12 years or older) reported receiving the prescription drugs they most recently used “from a friend or relative for free.”
- Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.
- Drug deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (which includes fentanyl) increased almost 47% from 2016 to 2017.
Explore common misconceptions about opioids through the voices of teens. Go to Operation Prevention.
1 Source: University of Michigan, 2018 Monitoring the Future Study. View source here.
2 Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2018. View source here.
3 Source: Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017. View source here.
4 Source: Prescription Drug Use and Misuse in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2018. View source here.
5 Source: Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 16 December 2016. View source here.
6 Source: “Fentanyl: Illicitly-made fentanyl use is on the rise." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. View source here.
JASON SURKS, 19
As a pre-pharmacy major at Rutgers University, Jason probably felt he knew more about prescription drugs than he actually did. He evidently thought he was being safe, but he overdosed on prescription drugs. Read more.
Need Someone to Talk to?
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has trained professionals to available via phone and online chat to help parents who think their loved one is struggling with addiction. Learn more.
Looking for Addiction Treatment Options Near You?
Consider using the resources below to find local treatment for opioid addiction.
This state government site features the contact information of each New Jersey county's program director for prevention and recovery. Go to the site.
Connect with other people in recovery by attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in your area. Go to the site.
Search a database of drug rehab or detox centers in your area based on insurance. Go to the site.
Check out the local resources from the nine counties in South Jersey.
This organization's mission is to prevent, reduce and/or delay substance use among youth of Atlantic County in a long-term and sustainable manner.
This is a youth centered program through jtacnj.org for Atlantic County youth interested in learning more and addressing issues regarding underage drinking, tobacco and other drug use.
(Call for more information: 609-272-0101)
Learn more about Burlington County's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Unit.
This organization aims to prevent the disease of alcoholism, drug abuse and related problems; educate the public that alcoholism, drug abuse and related problems are treatable and preventable; and encourage early identification, intervention, treatment and continuum of care for alcoholism, drug abuse and related problems. Learn more about their programs and services.
Statewide, the Municipal Alliances exist in over 500 of New Jersey’s Municipalities offering over 2,000 drug and alcohol prevention programs, serving 1,000s of residents. Locally, Cape May County has seven Municipal Alliances encompassing 14 Municipalities.
Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Services Office
This office administers State and County funds for prevention and treatment programs; coordinates planning of services for county residents through the development of the Annual Comprehensive Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Plan; and operates the First Step Clinic, an outpatient program, and the Municipal Alliances to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
- Cumblerland County Municipal Alliances (contact at 856-459-3082)
- The Southwest Council, Inc. (contact at 856-794-1011)
The Gloucester County Division of Addiction Services coordinates services for adults and adolescents seeking help for substance use issues.
The Mercer County Office on Addiction Services supervises the planning, administration, and coordination of alcohol and drug abuse services in the County.
The mission of the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County is to reduce substance abuse across the lifespan by collaborating resources and coordinating planning in order to offer opportunities for building a healthy mind, body and spirit for all residents of Mercer County. Go to the website for more information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org (609) 396-5874 Ext 205.
This website lists drug prevention information for educators.
The Salem County Department of Health and Human Services /Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services Office is a valuable resource for Salem County residents. Reach out to one of the treatment providers if you need treatment information for yourself or a loved one, or to find out what other alcohol and drug abuse services are available.
The Municipal Alliance is a network of community-based prevention programs found throughout New Jersey’s 21 counties. It was created for grassroots volunteers to have the opportunity to develop programs and implement activities to address specific substance abuse problems in their communities.
If you want to get involved in the DEA 360 Strategy you can start by educating yourself on the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, and then share what you have learned with your family, friends, community, neighbors, etc.
Join a coalition or volunteer with a partnering organization.
Properly dispose of prescription drugs.
If you have prescription drugs that have expired or you no longer need you can deposit them into prescription drop-off boxes located in your community.