HEROIN OVERDOSES SPIKE IN HUNTERDON WITH THREE DEAD IN A WEEK

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Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III released new statistics showing that the heroin epidemic in Hunterdon County is getting worse. Three fatal overdoses were reported in Hunterdon just this week. Between July 27th and August 3rd, a 26 year old woman, a 42 year old man, and a 49 year old man died of apparent heroin overdoses in Hunterdon County. The deaths occurred in Pittstown, High Bridge, and Clinton Township. In Hunterdon County, 28 overdoses have been report to police to date this year compared to 40 for all of 2015. So far in 2016, 9 of the overdoses were fatal compared to 12 overdose fatalities in all of 2015 and 8 in 2014. Of the 28 total overdoses this year, 23 were caused by heroin; 23 were male, and 5 were female. Of the nine fatal overdoses this year, six were caused by heroin. Six overdose deaths were male and three were female. The average age of the involved person is 39. The oldest was 58 and the youngest was 21. According to Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III, “So far this year, police deployed Narcan and saved 18 people, compared to 16 saves in all of 2015.

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Without police administering Narcan, that could have been 18 more deaths this year.” Narcan, also know as Naloxone, is an aerosol that is administered just like a nasal spray. It blocks the effects of an opioid for a period of time and permits emergency responders to get the victim to the hospital for treatment. The effects of an opiate can last up to four hours so overdose victims who are administered Narcan will still require medical attention. Hunterdon County Police Officers were trained and issued Narcan kits in 2014. Hunterdon Medical Center has consistently provided funding for Police Officers to carry Narcan in the county since the program started. The Prosecutor reiterated, “The impact of the heroin epidemic is not only tragic to families, but also causes a strain on healthcare and government services. The overall impact on a community is affected as addicts often resort to crime to feed their addictions. The sickness of addiction is everyone’s problem and it can no longer be ignored here in Hunterdon or elsewhere.

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It’s happening here. Our efforts include enforcing the law, preventing addiction, preventing death, and preserving the quality of life for all families, regardless of their struggles.” Prosecutor Kearns added “It is obvious that the recent statistics are showing that this epidemic is getting worse. Parents, family, friends, law enforcement, faith based communities, and medical personnel are all part of the solution when someone is ensnared in the grips of an addiction. Recognition, treatment, and support from family and friends can help save a life. Preventing an overdose is just as important as responding to and treating one. It’s not just a law enforcement or health care issue. It’s a family issue. Education and awareness is crucial.” The Prosecutor also pointed out additional programs meant to help this epidemic. The Overdose Protection Act was enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in 2013 with the purpose of encouraging witnesses and victims of drug overdoses to seek medical assistance and save lives. In instances where evidence is obtained as a result of seeking medical assistance, those involved are protected from arrest, charge, prosecution, conviction, and revocation of parole or probation for possession or use of illegal drugs.

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The Overdose Prevention Act enables people to make the right decision in dialing 9-1-1. The START program (Steps To Action Recovery and Treatment) was launched in 2014 by the Prosecutor, the Safe Coalition of Hunterdon/Somerset Counties, Hunterdon Healthcare and the Hunterdon County Chiefs of Police Association. It is designed to provide direct referral information, contained in a prepared packet, to individuals who are believed to be suffering in the grips of addiction or other crisis. The START Packet is given to individuals and family members when they are released from jail or police custody; or after having contact with law enforcement or a hospital emergency room. The packet is also available at various locations throughout the county including the county libraries. The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police has also endorsed the program statewide. Anyone with information for law enforcement can submit anonymous tips by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-321-0010 or by going to www.crimestoppershunterdon.com, or text messaging “HCTIPS” plus your tip message to 274637 (CRIMES). Tipsters can also download the free mobile app “Tipsubmit” and select Hunterdon County to submit anonymous tips via text messaging. All tips are anonymous and kept confidential.

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The Hunterdon County News  www.thehunterdoncountynews.com covers Hunterdon, Hunterdon News, Hunterdon County News, New Jersey Hunterdon County, Hunterdon Schools, Hunterdon Central, North Hunterdon, Hunterdon County Library, Hunterdon County Medical Center, Alexandria Township, Bethlehem Township, Clinton Town, Clinton Township, Tewksbury, Readington,  Union Township, Lebanon Township, Califon, Raritan Township, Lambertville, East Amwell, West Amwell, Frenchtown, Delaware Township, Flemington, High Bridge, Holland Township, Hunterdon News, Hunterdon County News, My Hunterdon, Hunterdon Restaurants, Hunterdon Businesses, Hunterdon Hospitals, Hunterdon Dentists, Hunterdon Lawyer, Hunterdon Courts, The New York Jets, The Somerset Patriots, The Hunterdon County Prosecutor, Hunterdon Real Estate, The Clinton House , The Clinton Fire Department , North Hunterdon High School, Voorhees High School, Hunterdon Central High School,

 

The Hunterdon County News  www.thehunterdoncountynews.com covers Hunterdon, Hunterdon News, Hunterdon County News, New Jersey Hunterdon County, Hunterdon Schools, Hunterdon Central, North Hunterdon, Hunterdon County Library, Hunterdon County Medical Center,