OC Prosecutor Lays Out 2014 Drug Prevention Efforts
"We need to make people understand that this is a fight that we're going to try to win," so says Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato as the county continues to reduce the staggering number of overdose deaths that ended the year at 110 at last check. Coronato said that number could rise with several toxicology reports still pending. The county's top lawman said they'll be moving in many different directions to force that number down.
Coronato's said this year's multi-pronged battle will focus on education. He said they'll once again be reaching out to the county's youth and their parents by holding large forums like they did last year, this time in different parts of the county. He said they're also in the process of making educational videos that will be shown in schools, to parents, PTA's and other parent's organizations.
Coronato believes if Ocean County's youth hear about the dangers of drugs from many different voices that they'll avoid even experimenting. "We need to make sure that kids unfortunately in Middle School and High School know what the dangers that lie out there and that's not some place that they ought to go," said Coronato.
2014's efforts will also be heavily focused on law enforcement efforts. Coronato said they will be once again going after the drug dealers. "Unfortunately when there is a death, we're going to try and find out who the dealer is who ultimately sold the drug and hold them accountable for their actions," he explained.
Ocean County law enforcement officials will also be equipped with 'Narcan" an anti-opiate nasal spray. "In the hopes of trying to save a life, Police officers will be empowered to be able to use this nasal spray when it deals with an opiate, will reverse the effects," Coronato explained.
However, Coronato stressed they way to battle Ocean Counties drug problem is not in throwing the drug addicted in jail. "You know we are really going to be pushing the envelop to make sure that there's more rehab facilities here in Ocean County and not only in Ocean County through out the state. We can't just put them in one door and have them come out the back door," he stated.