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Ocean County’s War on Drugs Continues Tonight [AUDIO]

An all-out war has been waged against drugs in Ocean County, but the top lawman tells us, the real fight is for survival.

Police dog in a hallway at Lacey High School
Police dog in a hallway at Lacey High School (ABC 7)

With the total number of heroin overdose deaths standing at 107, Prosecutor Joseph Coronato wants to attack the root of the problem: the high level dealer.

Since taking the helm of the department earlier this year, Coronato has spearheaded a campaign to get the word out about the growing problem of drug abuse, cracked down on a number of individuals buying and selling drugs, and even seized thousands of dollars in drug money that they intend to use to fund awareness programs.

“Those who prey on the young and vulnerable need to be locked up, there needs to be more rehab centers and a greater emphasis on treatment,” Coronato said.

Yesterday, K-9 units were sent in to the Lacey Township High School as part of the outreach program. They want to make sure the young students don’t ever start using.

Ocean County’s youth and parents appear to be ready to listen to the message as well. The first forum at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River in October drew nearly 2,000 people, when the prosecutors office had only expected a few hundred.

The “Your Kids Count: Can We Talk?” forum that’s being held tonight at the Stafford Township Arts Center in Manahawkin, will feature special guests former Giants Running Back Keith Elias, a drug enforcement official with the State Attorney General’s office, and Jesse Morella, a young man who’s drug use left him handicapped. The program runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 1000 Mckinley Avenue in Manahawkin.

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