Sunday, April 6, 2014

Seminars on Heroin

This is an important message from the Upper Saddle River Police:

It is no secret that opiate addiction and overdose deaths have become all too common these days.... Nobody is immune from this growing trend, and the opiate/heroin addiction problem crosses all socioeconomic levels and backgrounds. Based on my professional experience, I would say that truly, there is no community in New Jersey and other parts of our Country that are not affected by this and other drug issues. The numbers speak for themselves. Fatal drug overdoses have more than doubled, nationwide, from 2000 to 2010, with heroin-related deaths, in particular, increasing by more than 60%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In New Jersey, fatal drug overdoses in Ocean County have doubled between 2012 and 2013, from 53 to 112 deaths. 

The problem of opiate abuse has become so bad over the last couple of years that the Upper Saddle River Police Department, as well as others in the law enforcement and substance abuse communities, feel that it has reached an epidemic level. There is probably not a day that goes by that you open a newspaper or turn on the television to read or hear something about prescription painkiller abuse, heroin use or, other dangerous designer drugs, such as ecstasy. You will find that these news articles cover all aspects of opiate addiction, including the arrest of users and sellers, stories of families trying to help loved ones overcome opiate addiction, and even worse, stories of those who have died from a drug overdose.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office recently conducted a Public Awareness Ad Campaign in an effort to make Bergen County residents more aware of both the heroin epidemic and also the consequences of those who distribute/manufacture narcotics, which subsequently cause an overdose death. These messages inform the general public that Prosecutors are taking an aggressive stance to help curb the fatal drug overdoses in Bergen County communities. The use of the "Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death" law allows Prosecutors to pursue first-degree homicide charges against those persons involved in the distribution or manufacturing of narcotics that ultimately, cause the death of another. Copies of these messages have been posted on the Police Department Facebook page.

Over the course of the last few years, the Upper Saddle River Police Department has held a number of seminars for parents regarding drug and alcohol use within our Community. It has been our objective to make parents more aware of the drug trends being seen in our area. Furthermore, it is important for parents to know what to look for, as well as the signs and symptoms of someone who potentially is using drugs. Parents who attended the last couple of seminars were provided packets containing information about different drugs. These packets also contained photographs and pictures of the drugs and how they are packaged. 

Residents should not think for one minute that Upper Saddle River does not have drug problems similar to those that you read or hear about occurring in other communities. Over the last 12 months, Upper Saddle River Officers have arrested individuals, either living in or passing through our Community, for possession of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, MDMAs, (aka Ecstasy and Molly), prescription pain killers, steroids, and methamphetamines.

In an effort to combat this epidemic, Law Enforcements Agencies, Drug Alliance Organizations, School Districts, Drug Treatment Centers, and even recovering addicts are working together to educate, prevent, and hopefully, stop the use of these very dangerous and highly addictive substances.
To assist our residents in learning more about the Heroin Epidemic in Bergen County, I would like to make you aware of the following presentations, which are coming to our area.

Wednesday April 23, 2014 at 7pm
“The Faces of Addiction A Family Portrait”- Hills Valley Coalition

Where: Pascack Valley High School, 200 Piermont Ave., Hillsdale, NJ 07642
Presenter: David Sheff, the New York Times author of Beautiful Boy
Resource tables open at 6pm

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 7pm
"The Perfect Storm"- Battling the Prescription Drug & Heroin Epidemic

Where: Northern Highlands High School, 298 Hillside Ave., Allendale, NJ 07401
Presenter: Doug Collier (former DEA agent)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 7:30 pm
“The New Dangers of Heroin”

Where: Midland Park High School, 250 Prospect St., Midland Park, NJ 07432
Presenters: Bergen County Drug Task Force and Prosecutor’s Office

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