Category Archives: drugs

Opioids and Morris County

Since January of 2018, arrests have gone up for drug dealers and users. But, along with this rise, there has also been a rise in both fatal and non-fatal overdoses. When viewing a map, and the data, it is clear that these arrests and overdoses are not people who are travelling through Morris County, but rather residents of Morris County. There has been not a single community without an overdose in 2018. All communities are effected, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, or religion. When looking at the projected outcomes, it seems as though opioid related deaths in Morris County will surpass last years number of 80 deaths.

Morris County is often thought of as being an upper middle class community, and people overlook the possibilities of drug use or abuse in this community but it is clear that we need to be safer and proactive on this issue. Opioids do not discriminate, addiction does not discriminate. Be aware, be proactive.

Opioid Use in Morris County

In 2015, roughly 2% of heroin contained fentanyl in it, whereas now, 40% of heroin has fentanyl in it. Fentanyl is a deadly chemical that produces a high for significantly cheaper than heroin, which is why drug dealers tend to cut heroin with this chemical. For reference, one kilo of heroin would cost $60,000, but a kilo of fentanyl is only $3,000. This chemical is dangerous because it is very strong, in fact, 44% of ODs in Morris County had fentanyl in their drugs. It does not take much to be deadly, and when buying heroin, there is no known amount of fentanyl in it, nor would a dealer ever tell their secrets. Not only is fentanyl found in heroin, but it starting to be found in other drugs, like cocaine and marijuana. Fentanyl is also being pressed to look like pills.

Fentanyl is a profit making chemical, that due to the price, is becoming more and more common. As opioid use increases, so will the use of fentanyl. Drug dealers are not looking for what is the safest, only for what will produce the most amount of profit. Acknowledging the increase risk of fentanyl and understanding its potency is important for keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.

Opioid Use in Morris County: January to June

Opioid use in Morris County, and New Jersey has been on the rise in recent times. In Morris County, there have been 53 suspected drug related deaths, as of January 1st. Though this is a 5% improvement from last year, as there were 56 drug related deaths by end of June, this is not a significant difference. It brings about the question of what can we be doing differently vs what are we doing the same?

As of January 1st of this year, there have been over 212,000 opioid prescriptions. Comparatively, in all of 2017, there were 231,400 prescriptions, which was about 10,000 less than 2016. We are moving in the right direction, but at a slow pace. Though decreasing prescriptions does help to decrease the risk of opioid related overdoses, it is important to understand the risks of misusing and abusing opioids. Roughly 27% of people who are prescribed opioids misuse them. 86% of young people who use heroin have used prescription opioids prior. Of those who use opioids, 4-6% use heroin, after.

The risk is there. Being knowledgeable about the risks helps to build protective factors and decrease the fatalities.

Treatment Admissions in Morris County

Did you know that in New Jersey, in 2016, there were 91  admissions to treatment for alcohol related reasons for people under 18? And in Morris County, there were 6 alcohol treatment admissions for those under 18. Though 6 may not seem like a high number, that means that not only were people under age drinking, but drinking to the point of needing detox or alcohol use treatment. Over the past year, the alcohol admissions have declined, but drug admissions have gone up. In 2015, there were 54 drug related admissions in Morris County, which in one year, went up to 88 drug related admissions.

As the perception of risk continues to be lowered, the rate of use continues to go up.