The 6 Worst Cities In New Jersey For Drug Abuse
New Jersey is leading the nation in a race nobody wants to win: the state with the highest numbers for drug abuse. Heroin and opiate use has hit startling highs in the Garden State in the last few years, breaking recent records in 2015 for the greatest number of drug-related crimes and overdose deaths. Both small and large cities and urban and rural communities have seen an increase in illicit drug use in New Jersey. The enormous toll drug addiction takes on citizens, both in number of deaths and myriad economic costs, makes this a problem that affects people well beyond those suffering from addiction.
1. Newark, NJ
Based on statistics by the Division of Addiction Services in the New Jersey Department of Human Services, the number one area hit the hardest by heroin and opiate issues is Newark. In 2012, Newark had 1,827 reported cases of heroin abuse cases. News of this city’s drug problem and drug-related consequences constantly continues. Police seized nearly $500,000 in April 2016 as part of a long-running narcotics investigation in the city, taking nine suspects into custody on charges that include money laundering, drug possession with the intent to distribute, drug trafficking, and unlawful possession of firearms.
2. Jersey City, NJ
Number two on the list is Jersey City. What has made Jersey City infamous still plagues it today: drugs and crime. Jersey City reported 1,127 cases of heroin abuse in 2012. Police continue to launch investigations and make arrests for drug-related charges. In March 2016, police investigated a drug tip in Greenville, where they searched an apartment building.
There they found large quantities of marijuana, a pool cue case with a loaded shotgun in the boiler room, 46 vials of cocaine, ecstasy, and a variety of drug equipment. Police made eight arrests, with all eight facing charges on various drug offenses – including a charge of child endangerment due to having a three-year-old in the apartment at the time.
3. Paterson, NJ
Paterson, NJ is one of the nation’s most troubled drug cities. With 871 cases of heroin abuse in 2012, it comes in at number three on the list. In one of the state’s most famous drug busts, police arrested 15 people in Paterson, including the alleged drug ringleader – in a takedown of a major narcotics supply chain. The supply network was allegedly distributing millions of dollars worth of heroin to processing mills and stash houses in the area. In a more recent mill raid, police arrested eight people for possession of 319 heroin glassines, bags of cocaine, and bags of MDMA.
4. Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic City, saw 630 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. The drug epidemic extends beyond the seaside resort, into neighboring communities. The Atlantic City Violent Crimes Task Force has targeted drug dealers in the community who distribute drugs to people in the resort, making several arrests. In June 2016, police arrested five men and seized almost 600 bags of heroin and 16.5 grams of cocaine in Atlantic City. Law officials urge citizens near the resort to report any drug-related activities.
5. Camden, NJ
Camden, NJ ranks number five on the list, with 560 cases of heroin abuse in 2012. In 2014, heroin overdose deaths were eight times that of the nation’s average in Camden County. The numbers continue to grow exponentially, with a jump from 364 overdoses (mostly nonfatal) in 2014 to 555 in 2015. Many citizens in Camden know at least one person who has lost someone to a heroin overdose. Volunteers try to spread awareness of this epidemic in the city by posting informational bulletins. These notices encourage people to call 911 if someone is overdosing, without fear of repercussion thanks to the state’s Good Samaritan laws.
6. Brick, NJ
One of the most surprising cities on the list is Brick, NJ. A place that’s considered one of the country’s safest communities. Brick rivals Camden in the number of heroin abuse cases reported in 2012 (550 total). In May 2016, police seized nearly 600 bags of heroin and arrested two men. Police found marijuana, THC oil, cocaine, and heroin and charged the men with possession and possession with the intent to distribute, including intent to distribute in a school zone.
Help End New Jersey’s War On Drugs
As a citizen of New Jersey, you have a responsibility to spread awareness of the growing heroin problem and to call the authorities to report any suspicious drug- or gang-related activities in your neighborhood. The heroin epidemic takes a great toll on the state of New Jersey, and it will take a community effort to make a change.