Heroin Scourge Spreading into New Jersey Suburbs; 50 Deaths in 2 Years


A heroin scourge is spreading beyond the street corners of New Jersey cities out to leafy suburbs, the very middle-class communities once thought to be immune to the ravages of the drug, reports the Bergen Record. The breadth of heroin addiction in New Jersey has spurred a response that seems to have political momentum. Many hope it is strong enough to make a dent in a problem that has seen 50 deaths in Bergen County since the beginning of 2011, chronic gang violence in Paterson, countless overdoses, and dozens of arrests. “We could do this every day,” said Steven Cucciniello, chief of detectives at the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, which recently concluded a large task force operation to address the rise of heroin in North Jersey. “It could just go on forever.” New Jersey is a hub of East-Coast heroin trafficking. The soaring popularity of prescription painkillers – often a precursor to heavier drug use – along with cheap, easy-to-buy, high-quality heroin, has strengthened the drug's grasp, particularly among suburban youth.

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