45 New Jersey Towns With The Most Heroin, Opiate Abuse

The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman reinforced how much heroin is plaguing all parts of America.

Last month, Patch exposed the 20 communities in New Jersey with the largest number of reported heroin abuse cases in 2012, the most recent year available. The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, however, reinforced and illuminated how much the heroin epidemic is plaguing all parts of America.

Heroin abuse is no longer a scourge that's confined to the nation's crime-ridden areas. In some New Jersey counties, heroin abuse was a major factor in a steep increase in drug abuse cases over the past year. In Ocean County, the number of overdoses doubled from 2012 to 2013. Cape May County had the highest number of per capita abuse cases in 2012.

In the wake of Hoffman's death, we expanded our list, based on statistics provided by the Division of Addiction Services in the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The list shows the town and the number of cases reported in 2012.

There are 565 towns in New Jersey. These communities make up the top 7 percent.
Gina Danna Steele February 09, 2014 at 09:07 PM
a 21 year old in franklin lakes overdosed on heroin the same day as Hoffman, but I guess because she is not famous no one is looking for who sold her the bags. very sad ,but you don't have to go to ny to find tragedy, you can find it right here in the FLOw district with 3 deaths by heroin overdose in the last 3 years!
Leaving February 10, 2014 at 06:23 AM
Pretty sure it is far more than 3. You are right; because a celebrity has died, all of a sudden it's "news". This has been a problem in the FLOW area for quite a while, and it is not going away.
Mike Moran February 10, 2014 at 07:26 AM
This is an interesting article, but it would be a lot more helpful if the statistics were expressed as a percentage of the population rather than raw numbers. I think that top five cities listed also have the highest populations, so it doesn't really tell you what you want to know, which is which municipalities have the biggest problems per capita. We could be living in a small town with an outsize problem and this article wouldn't identify that. This article is a good start, but a per capita figure would be much more interesting, I think. Thanks for shining a light on this.
Roll Back Our Tax February 10, 2014 at 08:06 AM
That's right Mike. I said the same thing. The numbers are skewed. There's a small borough in northern NJ called Hopatcong and if it was per capita I know it would have made list.
Naabt Dotorg February 10, 2014 at 08:37 AM
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FL4LIFE February 10, 2014 at 08:40 AM
legalize pot and it will reduce this problem. after surgery or for severe pain people are prescribed oxycodone which is EXTREMELY addictive. ive had friends get into accidents and then prescribed oxycodone and then struggle with addiction. i myself had surgery and was prescribed oxycodone, i took it a couple times and than stopped because it was so powerful and after seeing what my friend struggle with addiction i decided id rather deal with the pain. oxycodone is expensive and when people get addicted they turn to heroine because it is a lot cheaper. if people where given thc as a pain reliever instead of oxycodone a large percentage of the heroin problem would go away, however big pharma cares more about profit then it is worried about turning consumers into drug addicts.
Concerned Citizen February 10, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Totally agree with you all (or some of you). This story as written is skewed with misleading numbers. And heroin has been a problem in so many communities way before PSHoffman decided to shoot up before he went to pick up his kids. Sorry for the lack of compassion and I feel terribly for his family, but really? This guy has so many resources at his disposal and there's no excuse for doing what he did. But the entertainment industry will praise him like they do Polanski, Jackson and Allen. I'm so looking forward to Hollywood's moving tribute during the Academy Awards. Anyway, he was an amazing actor. Sorry he's gone. But he was friggin shooting up before he was to pick up his kids. Was he planning on being stoned for their visit? How responsible of him. But I just had to get this off my chest.
Phil Brooks February 10, 2014 at 12:06 PM
Citizen, After being sober for the last 20+ years, Hoffman took a drink and fell off the wagon. At that point, he had no sense of responsibility and (sadly) probably wasn't thinking of his kids.
Concerned Citizen February 10, 2014 at 01:53 PM
Phil, I'm not totally without sympathy. But from what was reported (and I do take that with a grain of salt), there were several envelopes of drugs found in PSH's apartment. It sounds like he did more than take a drink and fall off the wagon. Maybe I'm just in a Bieber induced period of callous indifference to the sufferings of entertainers (or alleged entertainers) who have everything most of the rest of us might even dream of, yet who f@#K up their lives anyway. And then the rest of the entertainment world does nothing but praise or mourn them. My PSH RIP and his family find peace. And may others in his situation LEARN SOMETHING FROM THIS!
Phil Brooks February 10, 2014 at 08:31 PM
Citizen, From what I've read and heard, before he went clean and sober, Hoffman did darned near anything, not just booze. So, when he fell off the wagon, he FELL off the wagon. // My guess is that most of the people who tried all of this stuff when they were young also thought they were invincible; they could give it up when they wanted or that it wouldn't control their lives. You can preach and preach and preach and there are still people who have to find out for themselves. // I get the "callous indifference" thing. I neither have the time nor inclination to feel bad (as in wear my heart on my sleeve--I'm not that cold of a human being) for someone I don't know. Hoffman was a heck of an actor and dying when he did deprived people of enjoying his talents for many years to come. But, after that, I don't feel much. Will others learn? If only one person does, then that's a start. We can hope that but one single person somewhere did.
John Santaella February 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM
So Newark has the highest number of deaths. Big deal. What does that tell me? Nothing! Newark has the highest population in the State. I would expect it to have the highest number of overdose deaths. It would not surprise me if much smaller towns had higher rates of overdose deaths. But some known person in NYC, which I'm sure has more OD's than anywhere else, OD's and it's national news. I feel for both Mr. Hoffman, his girlfriend and their 3 children. Maybe this will be a wake up call but it won't be. One does not just choose to become an addict. We have to learn to deal with the problem of addiction in a more rational way. It seems the way we've dealt with it over the past 60 years is not working.
John February 11, 2014 at 01:36 PM
We live in a society clamoring for drugs. All you hear these days are the pro pot crowd touting the benefits of their drug of choice. The pharmaceutical industry hawking their pills. The liquor industry plastering their message all over TV and billboards. Nowhere is there any public voice speaking against the dangers of anything. Society is crumbling.
Windrunner February 11, 2014 at 10:26 PM
Couldn't agree with the first three picks more. Great places to drive through, and hope a tire blowout don't happen.
Frank Santora February 11, 2014 at 11:58 PM
Drug dealers & users are a plague on us all. If you are serious about it being stopped along with all the crimes that are caused by drug addiction, Hammer the people in Trenton to reinstate the death penalty and apply it equally to both the sellers and the users. Cruel? Yes it is, but execute a few dealers and the rest will eventually to go to other states. They are greedy miserable people but are not stupid unless they are using themselves. The junkies won't be affected by any laws, but they will be affected by drying up the drugs. Rehibilitation DOES NOT WORK. Anyone who claims it does is fooling themselves. I have worked with drug users. They tell me they would rather die than stop shooting up. When they hear of bad junk that is killing people, they want to try it because they think it must be a great high.
John Santaella February 12, 2014 at 12:20 AM
Oh, jesus h christ. give me a break, death penalty indeed.
Phil Brooks February 12, 2014 at 09:41 AM
Frank, Sorry, but I must vehemently disagree with you. Drug dealers are there because there's a market for their products. Other than that this product is far more lethal, I see no difference between what's going on now and the bootleggers during Prohibition. But, as long as there are addicts and people who think they're invincible and they'll be the lucky ones to shoot up heroin and have nothing happen to them, there'll be drugs. // The question then becomes: How do we mitigate the scourge of drugs combined with the seamy underbelly of drug dealing? My answer--an answer is to regulate it, where the government controls its sale and distribution (like state run liquor stores in some states) and reaps the financial benefit. // We've already learned that we can't control or legislate morality. So, in that vein, we will never eliminate drugs, nor any other evil (drinking and gambling, for instance) that people think is out there. And how is that War on Drugs going anyway? The stuff out there is more available, cheaper and far more potent than it was 40 years ago when Nixon deputized a stoned-looking Elvis in this so-called "war." It ain't working. Time to try something new.
Veronica Wheeler February 22, 2014 at 08:37 AM
Supply and demand. I wish we could just kill off the supply. You can't even take a walk in the woods anymore because you might trip a wire guarding a pot field. When I think about all the hikes my father took us on through the Blue Ridge Mountains and upstate New York without fear (except for bears which I never saw) it makes me glad to be old now.


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