Heroin Use, Fatal Overdoses Plague Towns in Ocean County
Easy availability takes grim toll as number of deaths is more than double last year’s total
It’s a different type of disaster that’s ravaging Ocean County, more deadly and insidious than anything unleashed by Hurricane Sandy. An epidemic of drug overdoses has killed at least 100 people in the county in the past year, more than double last year’s total and mostly from heroin.
The problem cuts across all towns in the county and all age groups, though 20- to 28-year-olds have been most affected. And it’s not an isolated problem: Experts say three factors having been driving a nationwide increase in heroin use: price, purity and prescription pills.
Reporter Tracey Samuelson of WHYY/NewsWorks, a partner of NJ Spotlight, looks at the scourge gripping Ocean County and what authorities are doing to combat it.