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Ocean County Holds Second Forum on Heroin Epidemic [AUDIO]

To address Ocean County’s heroin epidemic, another seminar was held to educate parents and children on the dangers of the drug.

Ocean County drug forum on 12/12/13
Ocean County drug forum on 12/12/13 (Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ)

Only a few weeks after a similar meeting was held in Toms River, parents flocked to the Stafford Arts Center for a presentation from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the DART Coalition.

To date the county has seen 106 overdose deaths this year, with two more pending medical examinations.

The county’s heroin epidemic comes as a shock to many parents in suburban Ocean County, many of whom never expected to be dealing with such issues.

“That’s why we moved out of the North Jersey, to get away from the drugs,” said one father, while a mother of several children couldn’t believe what was going on.  “I literally said this morning ‘I can’t believe we’re going to meeting tonight about the drug problem in our county” she added “it’s terrifying because I feel like you don’t even know how it happens.”

Doug Collier, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent, once again gave a presentation detailing how heroin is produced, shipped, and distributed in New Jersey, as well as it’s physical and psychological effects. He said New Jersey is a pipeline for distribution of heroin, often which is sold for five to ten dollars a dose and is some of the purest in the country.

Collier also said that heroin abuse doesn’t happen overnight but rather is the culmination of experimentation with prescription drugs like Xanax, Vicodin, and Oxycodone.

While some parents are shocked by heroin’s presence in the county, many have already seen its deadly effects.

“I’ve seen it on my street and at a football game. Most recently in Barnegat a student was picked up at the homecoming game.”

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