Drug Addiction Epidemic Sweeps NJ By “Leaps and Bounds,” Study Says


An epidemic of drug addictions sweeping New Jersey by “leaps and bounds” has taken an unprecedented hold in the suburbs that is far more serious than the heroin crisis of the 1960s and ’70s, says Lee Seglem of the state’s Commission of Investigation. The Philadelphia Inquirer says a blistering report by the commission said a network of corrupt doctors, some feeding Russian organized crime by bilking Medicaid and Medicare, has led a proliferation of painkillers and heroin, with open-air drug markets in cities and at malls in affluent communities. In Camden, the report says, a physician put $10 million in pills onto the street. A two-year investigation describes at least one physical assault ordered by organized crime and technologically savvy dealers using social media to peddle pills. In 2011, there were 1,008 drug deaths in New Jersey, a 20 percent increase over 2010, and nearly half were people 25 or younger, says the state medical examiner. Of those, 337 involved the powerful painkiller oxycodone, and 368 involved heroin mixed with other illicit drugs.

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